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Report: Bulls’ Mike Dunleavy Needs Another 4-6 Weeks of Back Rehab Before Returning to On-Court Work

Chicago Tribune/Zumapress/Icon Sportswire

It was reported earlier this week that Chicago Bulls veteran forward Mike Dunleavy had suffered a setback in his rehabilitation from back surgery, and now Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski says Dunleavy will need an additional four-to-six weeks before even returning to on-court work.

Dunleavy reportedly met with several specialists in Los Angeles to determine his next course of action. He underwent lower back surgery in late September and was initially expected to miss eight-to-10 weeks, but there’s a chance he pushed too hard during the recovery process to get back on the court.

With the return of Dunleavy now up in the air, that puts more pressure on Tony Snell and Doug McDermott to perform. Snell is shooting 46.2 percent from three this season and playing solid defense, but the rest of his offensive game is non-existent. McDermott has shot the ball well and is improving defensively, so he’ll likely see a bigger and bigger role.

Snell and McDermott playing better would also take some pressure off Jimmy Butler, who’s playing through a heel injury. Butler has been playing around 40 minutes per game over the last couple weeks (a hip injury to Kirk Hinrich isn’t helping), and he hasn’t looked quite like himself in the last few games.

This setback could also push the Bulls to make a trade for guard/wing help. Chicago is loaded with frontcourt talent that’s had some trouble meshing, so perhaps a trade could be made to help balance out the roster.

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