Chicago Bulls small forward Mike Dunleavy said on Tuesday his extended absence due to an ankle injury is "beyond frustrating."
Dunleavy, a 12-year NBA veteran, has missed the last 16 games after sustaining the injury in a New Year's Day win over the Denver Nuggets. The Bulls are 7-9 over that span and have struggled on offense, shooting 42.6 percent from the field and 33.9 percent from three-point range. At the time of Dunleavy's injury, the Bulls were shooting 45.1 percent from the field and 36.7 percent from three-point range.
"Beyond frustrating," he said after sitting out Tuesday's practice -- his second in a row. "It's tough. I hate not being out there. I feel very guilty about it, but it is what it is. You know, can't play. So the decision has been made for me."
Dunleavy also said he is currently unable to run. He has been ruled out for Wednesday's road game against the Houston Rockets and has not provided a timetable to return. As a result, resting until the All-Star break remains a possibility, Dunleavy said.
“We’ll see. That may be what ends up happening, but I hope not. I want to play. Whether that’s the game before the All-Star break, that’s this weekend, whatever,” he said.
In 33 games this season -- his second with the Bulls -- Dunleavy is averaging 9.6 points and 3.8 rebounds in 29.5 minutes per game.
The Bulls are 30-19, fourth in the East and 10 games behind the conference-leading Atlanta Hawks.
- Mike Fiammetta