Doug McDermott feels like he is close to a return.
The problem remains that after suffering a second concussion in a two-week span, a close return is all relative for the Bulls third-year player.
McDermott missed his seventh consecutive game on Wednesday, still in the NBA’s concussion protocol, and still only able to participate in non-contact drills with his team.
“I think the important thing with Doug right now is he’s making progress,’’ coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He has passed a couple steps in the concussion protocol. He just hasn’t passed all of them yet. Until he completes the protocol, he will not be cleared for contact. Again, the hope is he continues to get better and makes progress on a daily basis, and he does. He feels good. In his mind he wants to get back out there, but in our doctor’s opinion he’s just not ready yet.’’
McDermott suffered his first concussion back on Oct. 31, in Brooklyn, and missed just one game in the aftermath of it. However, in the Nov. 11, he fell to the court and hit his head on the floor, going back into the concussion protocol.
This second one was obviously more concerning, not only because the fall was much more violent, but also because of the headaches and even memory loss McDermott was experiencing.
“Every case is individualized,’’ Hoiberg said of McDermott still on the shelf. “You look at it based on what their symptoms are, and Doug, unfortunately has two of them in this early portion of the season, so he’s just not ready yet. From talking to our team doctor he’ll continue to get treatments, continue to be re-evaluated on a daily basis, and hopefully we’ll get him back soon.’’
The Bulls did go 4-2 without McDermott on the Circus Trip, but undoubtedly could use his 24 minutes and 10.6 points per game off the bench.
“He’s in good spirits,’’ Hoiberg said. “And again, I think it’s important to get him back around the team again, and I think that really has lifted his spirits. It’s tough when you’re away from the team as long as we were on the road and gone. It’s tough. You wake up and you’re upset enough that you’re missing the game action, and you’re not around your teammates. So just for him to be around our guys I think has really helped him.’’
Still going at it
Former Bulls forward Metta World Peace – formally known as Ron Artest – was still going at it at the age of 37, back at the United Center on Wednesday as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Even his coach Luke Walton was shocked by his longevity.
“Yeah, I’m surprised anyone … I mean he’s older than me and I can’t even get out of the bed in the morning,’’ Walton said. “Anyone that has some age and years in this league, it’s shocking. I was laughing with [assistant coach] Brian Shaw the other day. Like watching the guys run and fight over screens, I mean it hurts your body just to watch stuff like that. So people that have been doing it for as long as Metta has it’s very impressive.’’
Peace was drafted by the Bulls back in 1999, and spent three seasons in Chicago, before being moved to Indiana.
He was only averaging 5.9 minutes per game for the Lakers this season, but Walton praised his work with the younger players on the roster.