Bulls' Chandler Hutchison considering season-ending shoulder surgery


NEW YORK — Ahead of a matchup with the Brooklyn Nets, Chandler Hutchison and Jim Boylen both acknowledged the possibility that the second-year forward’s season is over. Hutchison said an arthroscopic procedure to address his injured right shoulder has been discussed.

“When I got that last cortisone shot, it was testing to see if that’s going to help and maybe push me to get some games in at the end of the season. We basically put a month on it from the day of the shot, which ends up being right around March 16. If it doesn’t get better by then, it’s like, OK, we gotta take that next step and have a more serious discussion about possibly doing surgery,” Hutchison said. “This next week is kind of the final push on testing what I can do with it and if I’m going to be able to get out there or do something and make a decision. Hopefully, I can get past the rehab and really focus on the summer.

“Obviously, any time you do a (surgical) procedure, you’re fighting against missing an extended period of time. It’s going to be probably right around two months. That’s a big chunk of time. So if I can possibly get it done now and use this month at the end of this season to really use my rehab while I’m around, that way I’m maybe only missing three to four weeks into the summer. Then that’s something you definitely take into account in figuring out the right timing of it all and seeing if that’s best for me.”

Hutchison initially injured when he smashed into a screen on the first possession of the Bulls-Warriors game on Nov. 27. He missed 17 games before returning on Jan. 6. He later moved into the starting lineup and played well leading up to the All-Star break.

But he re-aggravated the injury in the final game before the All-Star break on Feb. 11 at Washington and hasn’t played since.

“He’s just kind of in a holding pattern for that shoulder to heal and feel better. It was a very difficult injury on him. Once he hurt it, then he got healthy and hurt it again and hurt it again. It’s been tough,” Boylen said. “Chandler works and he cares and it’s just an unfortunate circumstance for him.”

Hutchison has yet to play the equivalent of a full NBA season. His rookie season got cut short at 44 games because of a sesamoid fracture in his foot. He has played just 28 games this season.

“It’s something that’s not going to be a super-long recovery, around six to eight weeks is what I was told. Just more of a cleanup on some stuff that’s kind of in there and inflamed and preventing me from having that full range of motion in my shoulder,” Hutchison said of the possible surgery. “This is all new to me.”

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