Chandler Hutchison established Boise State’s career record for double-doubles with 23.
Last Friday, the Chicago Bulls rookie forward notched his first career double-double in the NBA, totaling 12 points and 12 rebounds in a 106-101 loss to the L.A. Clippers.
Then came some bad news.
Hutchison will be out at least three weeks with what the Bulls called “an acute injury to a sesamoid bone in his right foot.” Hutchison said he sustained the injury in the final seconds of the Bulls’ loss to Atlanta on Jan. 23 when he tried to contest a dunk by Justin Anderson and landed awkwardly.
He then practiced Jan. 24 and played a career-high 41 minutes with a double-double against the Clippers on Jan. 25.
“When it initially happened it was painful, but it wasn’t like, ‘Oh, my gosh, there’s no way I can play the next game,’ ” Hutchison told K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. “You’re going to get dinged up over the course of the season. You just ice it and get ready to go. It’s not until maybe you get a scan on it and you notice something’s really up, you’ve got to take care of it.”
Bulls coach Jim Boylen commended Hutchison for initially playing through the pain.
“This guy wants to play, man,” Boylen told the Chicago Tribune. “He’s a starter in the NBA. It’s his dream. Obviously, he could function with it. I give him credit, the toughness to fight through. Obviously, during the game it wasn’t bothering him. And then afterward, it’s sore. We X-ray’d it, and we move on.
“There’s part of me that likes that. You understand what I’m saying? I grew up in the old (days). I can’t get into all the stories, because they’re not for public (record), where guys, they’re going to play hurt, they’re going to play. Now, we want to understand what’s going on with our guys, and we do. And this injury is a very difficult one to diagnose.
“Sometimes that bone is in two pieces when you’re born. We don’t know. Your feet aren’t X-ray’d all the time. Our guys have done a great job. We’re on top of it. It’s unfortunate. It’s disappointing for him. He’s going to come back from it.”
Hutchison will be in a walking boot for at least three weeks, and the injury will be re-examined after the All-Star break.
In June, Hutchison became the first player in Boise State men’s basketball history to be drafted in the first round. He was taken by the Chicago Bulls with the 22nd overall pick. In 44 games this season, including 14 starts, Hutchison has averaged 5.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 20.3 minutes per game.
The injury comes just as Hutchison seemed to be hitting his stride as a pro. He had scored in double figures in four of the past seven games, averaging 9.4 points and 7.0 rebounds in that span.
“I’m going to stay positive while I’m out and then try to pick back up where I’ve been a little bit more successful,” Hutchison said.