Caruso out vs. Knicks with AC sprain, concussion protocol


A pair of injuries have led to the Chicago Bulls ruling Alex Caruso out for Friday's road matchup with the New York Knicks.

Caruso, according to the Bulls' injury report, is nursing a right acromioclavicular (AC) sprain and also remains in concussion protocol after taking a hard hit to the head and neck area during Wednesday's 110-108 win over the Atlanta Hawks.

The collision during which the injuries took place occurred in the second quarter of the contest as Caruso and Hawks forward De'Andre Hunter lunged for a loose ball. Caruso got the worst of the exchange, remaining on the ground for the Bulls' ensuing fastbreak and the beginning of the Hawks' next possession before DeMar DeRozan committed an intentional foul to stop play.

Caruso was initially diagnosed with just the shoulder sprain, but after the game Billy Donovan told reporters he was also being evaluated for a concussion, which Bulls PR confirmed.

"Obviously that stuff is serious, so they're going to caution on the side of making sure he's OK," Donovan said Wednesday. "He feels OK. I just checked on him briefly, he said he's doing OK. I don't know if he does or does not have a concussion. But that's what they're looking into."

Caruso was off to a sublime start to the game, scoring five points, grabbing two steals and logging a +19 plus-minus in 11 first-half minutes. The Bulls led 55-38 when he exited with 2:29 to play in the second quarter.

Although the Bulls hung on to win the game without him — and Ayo Dosunmu, who took Caruso's rotation turn with the first unit in the second half, was the hero with a game-winning layup at the buzzer — the team's defense and general organization suffered in Caruso's absence. The Hawks scored 70 points in the final 26:29 of the contest, outscoring the Bulls by 15 points.

And so, Caruso's status will be essential to monitor moving forward. Especially considering he entered Wednesday's game questionable with a right elbow sprain too.

As for the rest of the Bulls' injury report for the Knicks game, Derrick Jones Jr., who also missed the Hawks game with a sprained left ankle, is out; Javonte Green, who has missed the team's last three games with right knee soreness, is doubtful; and Goran Dragić, who missed the Hawks game with left ankle soreness, is probable to play.

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