The Chicago Bulls (10-36), who currently sit near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, will now be without one of the key pieces in the future of the franchise for an extended period of time.
According to a report from The Athletic's Shams Charania, standout rookie Wendell Carter Jr. will be sidelined for up to 12 weeks after undergoing surgery to repair ligament damage in his left thumb.
Bulls rookie Wendell Carter Jr. plans to undergo surgery on his left thumb on Monday, sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @WatchStadium. He will be sidelined up to three months. https://t.co/cDXTZwuuxY- Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 20, 2019
Carter, who was selected with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, is averaging 10.3 points. 7.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks while playing 25.2 minutes through the first 44 games in which he appeared. He has missed the Bulls' last two games with the thumb injury.
MORE: How Wendell Carter Jr. compares favourably to All-Star Al Horford
According to a separate report from K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune, the potential of a three-month timetable could mean that the 19-year-old's season would come to an early end.
Injuries have plagued Chicago this season - 2018 All-Rookie First Team selection Lauri Markkanen missed the first 23 games of the year, Kris Dunn has missed 26 games and Bobby Portis has been sidelined for 31 games.
With Carter out and Robin Lopez's status with the team reportedly up in the air, the Bulls may be on the market to bolster their frontcourt depth.
Chicago takes the floor again on Monday, Jan. 21 when it visits Quicken Loans Arena to take on Cleveland.