By Cody Westerlund–
CHICAGO (CBS) — After missing the past 27 games with a left wrist injury, Bulls guard Michael Carter-Williams will return Monday night against the Pacers at the United Center.
Carter-Williams has been out since taking a hard fall in a game on Oct. 31. He suffered what the team initially called a sprained left wrist and left bone bruise. While the knee got better on the expected timetable, the wrist injury lingered, with bone chips being discovered.
Carter-Williams won’t have any minutes restrictions because he’s stayed in good shape and been able to do a lot of activity as the wrist was in the final stages of healing up, coach Fred Hoiberg said.
“Obviously, we’ll be careful, it being his first game action,” Hoiberg said.
Acquired in a trade with the Bucks in October that sent Tony Snell to Milwaukee, the 6-foot-6 Carter-Williams was slotting into a reserve role as the first guard off the bench for the Bulls before his injury. He averaged 4.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 15.0 minutes across the first three games of the season.
He’s expected to fill the same role he did in the first week of the season.
“The big thing with Michael that we really missed is he’s a very versatile defensive player,” Hoiberg said. “He’s another guy that can get into the paint and make plays for our team. After Jimmy, he’s probably our second-most effective perimeter defender, and he can guard three positions because of his size. The pace that he can bring our team as well.
“We can’t expect him to come back and be the guy that’s the difference-maker right away, right off the bat. We understand there’s probably going to be some rust involved in his game.”
In other injury news, wing Doug McDermott is out Monday for the Bulls with a shin injury. It’s a “game-to-game” situation, Hoiberg said.
“He’s having trouble pushing off,” Hoiberg said.
The Bulls (14-16) host the Pacers (15-16) at 7 p.m. at the United Center.