The 2015-16 campaign has been less than ideal for the Chicago Bulls as they have struggled throughout the season in the Eastern Conference. Although, there has been some good news as Jimmy Butler has been cleared to resume workouts after getting a second opinion on his injury.
The six-time NBA champions, who have not won a ring since the days of Michael Jordan, were expected to be one of the major challengers to the Cleveland Cavaliers on the East coast but find themselves fighting for a playoff birth altogether.
The Bulls are currently ninth, half a game back from the Detroit Pistons as Fred Hoiberg has found life difficult in his first season as head coach. However, it has been less than plain sailing for the new man in charge as he has had to deal with an injury-ravaged roster.
Article continues below
Considering his past, Derrick Rose has managed to steer clear of anything too serious this season, but it has been the loss of shooting guard and main man Jimmy Butler that has really hit the franchise hard.
The two guard had been enjoying a career year in both points and assists and was seen as the main protagonist for the Bulls if they were to advance deep into the playoffs in Hoibergs' first season.
Article continues below
He showed exactly how devastating he could be with a 53 point display in a win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Butler shot 50 percent from the field to finish with 15 from 30 as he showcased his superstar talents to the world.
However, disaster struck in the buildup to All-Star weekend as Butler succumbs to a knee injury that has kept him out ever since. The 26-year-old was replaced in the Eastern Conference team in Toronto by his teammate Pau Gasol and has been on the road to recovery every since.
He made a short return to action, after missing 11 games, during the game with the Houston Rockets but reaggravated the injury. However, it may not be too long for Butler is back out on the hardwood once again.
The two-time All-Star went to get a second opinion on his injury from the orthopedic surgeon, Dr. James Andrews after the Bulls has cleared him to return to action.
Dr. Andrews echoed the statements of the franchise and the Houston native will begin his efforts to return to action one again.
During the outing against the Rockets, Butler played 33 minutes and 58 seconds, scoring 24 points, pulling down 11 boards and providing six assists for his teammates.
There is no time frame on Butler's return to action. The Bulls' next game is against conference rivals the Miami Heat in the early hours of Saturday morning, that is followed by a trip north of the border to face the Toronto Raptors.