By Cody Westerlund–
CHICAGO (CBS) — The wandering mind and pregame intensity of Bulls forward Bobby Portis caused him some pain for the final two months of the season.
Portis revealed Saturday that he’s been playing since March 4 with a burn atop his left foot that’s caused him pain. It was a third-degree burn, he said, and he suffered the injury when he left a heating pad on too long before a game against the Clippers.
“The heat pad burned me before the game,” Portis said. “I was actually on the table. I couldn’t feel because I had my headphones in. I didn’t feel it burning through.”
Portis has been in pain since, calling it “bloody and nasty” after playing games. Doctors told him he’d be in pain for three to four months. There was no infection, Portis said.
Portis never missed a game after the injury, which came just more than a week after the Bulls traded veteran forward Taj Gibson to the Thunder in part to open up more playing time for Portis.
“No one ever really knew about it, but it affected me a little bit,” he said. “Every time I bent my foot, it hurt. I never really complained. I’m one of those guys, I think I’m tough. I don’t really try to tell anybody about it. I just hold it in for myself. Other than that, it affected me. At the same time, I fought through it because, you know, I got in the rotation. I didn’t want to let a foot injury get me out and have to work my way back into it.”
The 22-year-old Portis averaged 6.8 points and 4.6 rebounds in 62 games, including four starts. He averaged 10.2 points and 6.6. rebounds after the trade deadline when he had a bigger role.
Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for CBSChicago.com and covers the Bulls. He’s also the co-host of the @LockedOnBulls podcast, which you can subscribe to on iTunes and Stitcher. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.