Luol Deng, who’s still rehabbing from a stress fracture in his right tibia, will not play for Great Britain in the European Championships.
Said Deng: “I was only cleared to shoot a couple of weeks ago. I’m on my way but not there just yet. I’ve also only just started running. It’s tough not playing. Since I started playing for GB the goal was to get to the highest level we can get to and not being able to play this summer is tough but that’s just life and it’s the smart decision for my health, especially if I’m not 100% to help the guys. It has been a very tough season for me; sitting on the sidelines and watching the guys play, knowing that if you were healthy you could play.”
It’s a bummer for Deng, who really wanted to play for his country of citizenship. But for the Bulls and their fans, this is great news. The last thing the team wants or needs is for Luol to re-aggravate his injury or suffer a new one right before the start of the 2009-10 season. We need Deng back and at his best, especially after losing Ben Gordon to the Pistons. Patriotism is nice and all, but everybody associated with the Bulls would like to see a return on that $71 million investment the team made in Deng last summer.