Alex Caruso

Alex Caruso exits Bulls' loss with new foot injury

Guard, team leader sat for final 19:35 after Coby White accidentally stepped on teammate's foot

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TORONTO --- Alex Caruso didn't play the final 19 minutes, 35 seconds of Friday's loss to the Toronto Raptors after Coby White accidentally stepped on Caruso's foot.

Naturally, Caruso still tried to hobble over and take a charge from center Jakob Poeltl before walking gingerly off the court when Torrey Craig substituted for him.

"I just decided not to put him back in the game. I don’t know if he could’ve gone back in the game. It was definitely my decision. I know he was hurting enough. He said he didn’t feel great," coach Billy Donovan said. "When he said he didn’t feel great, I didn’t ask him if he could go back in."

The Bulls whittled a 20-point deficit down to seven in the fourth quarter. Caruso typically plays in the Bulls' closing lineup.

"It was pretty painful. It was probably the right decision," Caruso said. "There was probably only more negative that could’ve happened than positive throwing me back out there with the athletes and the pace of the game and the physicality of it."

Caruso recently sat out two games with a sprained left toe. White stepped on the same foot. Caruso said he already started treatment late Friday and planned to continue it Saturday. The Bulls next play Sunday in New York against the Brooklyn Nets.

Even with Caruso playing, the Bulls allowed 62 first-half points. That included the Raptors shooting 17-for-17 at the rim, according to Donovan.

The slow starts have been a problem area for the Bulls all season.

"A lot of times we wait and try to match the energy of the other team or see what the game is going to be rather than setting the tone ourselves," Caruso said. "We gotta change something whether it’s players playing a different style or different rotations. Players have to play better."

The Bulls hope Caruso is one of those players trying to play better on Sunday.

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