According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, it appears we can expect Boozer to “return to game action” by early- to mid-December. In theory. If the Bulls are lucky.
Of course, it’s November 22 already and Boozer hasn’t even been participating in full-contact practices (although he has been doing some non-contact work). As of Friday, Boozer said he hopes to begin practicing “in a week or a week and a half.”
Said Boozer: “I know my body. I’m getting the doctors’ advice and they want me to wait to the eight-week mark to have full contact in practice. But I’m starting to get a little anxious. I do a bunch of strengthening drills with some clay and then I do a couple of different exercises to get the muscles in between the fingers and the hand stronger. The strength isn’t there yet. I ice it down, of course, so it doesn’t flare up on me. And then I do dribbling, passing and shooting just around the rim in the paint area. I ice it down again and let it keep healing.”
That said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times, Boozer admitted his busted hand isn’t fully healed — “It’s still sore, it’s not 100 percent, it’s not ready yet.” — and there’s no way to tell exactly when he’ll be ready to suit up and go.
When Boozer finally plays, according to the Sun-Times, “he’ll be wearing a protective guard on his right hand. The device — similar to a weightlifter’s glove with padding on the back of the hand — is being designed, and he hopes to receive it when the Bulls are in Los Angeles the next few days.”
Huh. Not sure how I feel about Boozer shooting with a glove on. Actually, I am sure how I feel, and I don’t like it. In the interest of science, I put on a weightlifting glove on my right hand and tried dribbling and shooting. It was awkward at best. Of course, my glove wasn’t specially designed for basketball, so my experience might not mean much of anything. Still. it’s not optimal, and it’s almost certain to effect his shooting in the early going.