Luol Deng injury: Bulls' forward unlikely to play Saturday

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Facing one of the league's best defenses, the Bulls may be without their leading scorer on Saturday night. Can Carlos Boozer and company score enough to beat Memphis at home?

Chicago Bulls small forward Luol Deng will likely miss Saturday night's game against the Memphis Grizzlies with a strained right hamstring, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reports. The All Star candidate wasn't optimistic after Friday's game against the Boston Celtics when asked about his status by reporters.

"I tried to take off and as soon as I pushed off, I felt a pull. It's swollen and painful. I tried to run in the hallway, but I had a hard time," Deng said.

Deng originally suffered the injury in the third quarter of Chicago's previous game, against the Toronto Raptors, but he was able to play through it until a fast break in the third quarter against the Celtics. Deng immediately started hobbling after that play, leaving the game as his teammates eventually pulled off an overtime win in Boston, 100-99.

The 6'9" forward called his chances of playing against the Grizzlies on Saturday, "very low," which likely puts second-year pro Jimmy Butler in the starting lineup for the first time in his career. Through 38 games this season, Butler has averaged 5.4 points per game on 50 percent shooting, also proving to be a solid defender on the perimeter.

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