March 2, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA: Chicago Bulls small forward Luol Deng (9) grabs a rebound during the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: Eric P. Mull-USPRESSWIRE
The Bulls have cleared Luol Deng to play for Great Britain in the Olympics despite a wrist injury.
Luol Deng, the Chicago Bulls' small forward who dealt with a left wrist injury for most of the NBA season, will not have immediate surgery and has been cleared to join the British team ahead of the 2012 London Olympics, reports Brendan Gallagher of The Telegraph.
Great Britain is participating in the men's basketball tournament for the first time; the British were granted their host nation spot in the 12-team bracket after Deng and big man Pops Mensah-Bonsu led them to some success a year ago in EuroBasket.
Had the Bulls pushed Deng toward immediate surgery, he'd likely have been ruled out for the Olympic tournament, which begins July 28. The plan is now for a post-tournament assessment to determine whether Deng will have surgery before the next NBA season, or whether he'll rest the wrist until training camp opens in late September or early October.
Britain is in Group B in the Olympics, with Spain, Brazil, China and Australia. A last-chance qualifier will also be added in mid-July.