Patrick Williams

Patrick Williams to undergo season-ending foot surgery

Williams hasn't played since Jan. 25

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Patrick Williams will undergo season-ending surgery to repair a stress reaction in his left foot, according to the Bulls.

Initially, Williams endured a bone edema in his left foot, leaving him off the floor since Jan. 25. Subsequent imaging revealed the injury worsened into a stress reaction.

The Bulls will now be without both Williams and Zach LaVine, who also underwent season-ending foot surgery, and Lonzo Ball for the rest of the season. Torrey Craig also injured his knee during the All-Star break and hasn't returned to the floor since.

This marks the second time in four seasons that surgery has prematurely ended Williams' season. Although he played in all 82 games last season and 71 his rookie season, wrist surgery limited him to 17 games in his second season.

This season, Williams played 43 games, starting 30. He averaged 10.0 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game on 44.3% shooting from the field and 39.9% shooting from the 3-point line.

Williams is in the midst of a contract season, due to hit restricted free agency this offseason. He and DeMar DeRozan are major X-factors for the Bulls' salary cap this offseason, as both will become free agents.

Williams turned down an offer from the Bulls before the season to bet on himself this coming offseason. Now, the Bulls could find the restricted free agent market to work in their favor. Williams also could play on his qualifying offer of just shy of $13 million.

With the Bulls extremely shorthanded, they are poised to convert the two-way contract of Onuralp Bitim into a standard NBA deal. Coach Billy Donovan also will play the double-big lineup of Nikola Vucevic and Andre Drummond and young players like Julian Phillips and Dalen Terry more.

Given what Donovan said following the Bulls' first post-All-Star break practice on Tuesday, Williams' news didn't come as a total surprise. Donovan said the team would be "very, very careful" regarding Williams moving forward after he experienced foot discomfort again in simple ramp-up activity.

“Patrick is doing the light, slow ramp-up. Everything they do is going to be based on his pain and what he can tolerate. Quite honestly, there have been certain things where he’s felt it. He’s much better than he was. I think when this first happened, he was feeling it walking. He’s beyond that right now. But they’re going to be very, very careful in terms of how much they continue to push through and how much they pull back on him,” Donovan said on Tuesday. “He has responded really well and done well. But on some of the things he has done, he has felt it mildly. And they’ll be cautious.

“They just want to make sure on the ramp-up, where if he continues to feel pain, they have to pull back. And that’s where they’re at right now. He has done stuff. For a period of time, he was in the boot and not doing anything but lifting weights. He has done some low-level stuff on the court. He feels much better than he did prior to this. But they’re not going to push him until those symptoms are completely gone.”

Now, season-ending surgery is the plan for those symptoms to hopefully be fully gone, another blow to another up-and-down Bulls season.

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