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Bulls’ Rip Hamilton could be out for extended period

Chicago Bulls guard Richard 'Rip' Hamiltplays his first game as Bull an exhibititilt against IndianPacers Tuesday December 20 2011 United

Chicago Bulls guard Richard "Rip" Hamilton plays his first game as a Bull in an exhibition tilt against the Indiana Pacers Tuesday December 20, 2011 at the United Center. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: March 7, 2012 2:35PM



No matter how hard he tried, Richard Hamilton couldn’t say it: He’s probably going to out awhile.

Hamilton, who has missed 24 of the Bulls’ 40 games this season because of various injuries, will not play against the Milwaukee Bucks tonight in Milwaukee and officially is day-to-day with a sprained and bruised right shoulder he suffered in the first minute against the Indiana Pacers on Monday night. But the 6-7 shooting guard, with his right arm in a sling, indicated he’s closer to ‘’out indefinitely’’ than day-to-day.

‘’I’m just trying to lift my arm up,’’ Hamilton said prior to the Bulls’ shootaround at the Bradley Center on Wednesday morning. ‘’It’s going to be ... I know ain’t no miracle going to happen tomorrow or anything like that. Just trying to get the swelling down, trying to get my range of motion back. It’s going to be a minute.’’

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said backup point guard C.J. Watson will miss his second consecutive game with a sprained ankle he suffered against the 76ers on Sunday.

Hamilton suffered the injury when he collided with Pacers 7-footer Roy Hibbert in the opening moments of the game Monday night. He also bumped into 6-8 guard Paul George before the clock stopped and he could leave the game.

‘’It’s sore. It still hurts,’’ Hamilton said. ‘’When I first did it, I felt the pop. When I ran down court, I could still move my hands. So I knew it wasn’t broke. But it was in a lot of pain just to try to lift my arm up.’’

Hamilton, 34, referred to the shoulder as a ‘’freak’’ injury, but it’s the third time he’s been injured this season. He’s also missed time with groin and leg issues. He has yet to play more than five consecutive games this season.

‘’It’s crazy,’’ he said. ‘’Sometimes you say, ‘Why you?’ But that’s the part of the game you have to deal with. It comes with the territory. It’s just tough for me, because I’ve never been like this my whole career. Especially one minute and 20 seconds into the game. All these little freak things. It’s crazy.’’

Hamilton missed 19 games in his first five seasons with the Pistons (2002-03 to 2006-07), but has missed suffered more injuries later in his career. He missed 10 games in 2007-08, 15 in 2008-09 and 36 games in 2009-10. He was injury free last season, but only played 55 games because of a dispute with coach John Kuester.

Thibodeau said wear-and-tear was a consideration when the Bulls signed Hamilton, but indicated that overall Hamilton was considered low-risk.

‘’You look at everything,’’ Thibodeau said when asked if the injury factor was a concern when the Bulls signed Hamilton. ‘’You look at what he’s done throughout his career. And I think the good certainly outweighs anything negative. So we felt good about it from the start. He’s had misfortune this year. It’s an unusual year for everybody. Hopefully he’ll be back quickly.’’



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