Chicago Bulls center Andre Drummond was eager to return to the court for the first time in six games against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.
The Veterans Center has missed nearly two weeks with a left shoulder sprain and explained the mandated rest period was an uneasy waiting period before being allowed back to play games at the United Center.
“Everybody knows I don’t miss too many games in my career,” Drummond said. “Six games in a row was tough for me. Especially watching from home, it was very frustrating.”
Drummond returned to practice for the first time in about two weeks during a shootaround, executing several 4-on-4 scrimmages to cap off a nearly two-hour training session. He entered the game against the Pelicans late in the first quarter and finished with 2 points and 5 rebounds. Bulls 115-111 loss.
Although he still felt uncomfortable, Drummond said he had confidence on his shoulders heading into the game.
“I feel pretty good,” said Drummond. “I’m going to give it a try tonight. We’ll see how it feels. I still have some scars and pain, but nothing I can’t stand.”
The sprain occurred on October 28 against the Spurs in San Antonio. Drummond caught up with Spurs forward Josh Collins in the third quarter and slammed into his left shoulder, tumbling to the floor and not having time to withstand the impact.
At the time, Drummond tried to play through the pain and convinced coach Billy Donovan to bring him back in the final quarter of the game.
“It’s pure adrenaline,” said Drummond.
The pain started immediately after the adrenaline wore off. By the end of the night, Drummond had lost mobility in his shoulder and was unable to lift his arm above his head or perpendicular to his body.Medical staff wanted his shoulder to be fully centered to allow it to recover. I restricted it from moving.
“It just stood still,” said Drummond. “It didn’t work. It wasn’t fun. But we have great staff here. They got me back a lot quicker than I thought.”
Although it didn’t last as long as initially feared, Drummond’s absence was felt by the Bulls, especially in the offensive grass. The Bulls averaged 11.7 offensive rebounds (11th in the league) to 9.8 (16th) during the center’s recovery. Drummond averaged 10.2 rebounds per game.
But even without a second big man, the Bulls started the season with a stronger defensive presence. They entered Wednesday after finishing his 12 games with his fifth-best ERA in the league (108.3) despite a 6-6 record.
Defensive improvements have focused on the team’s commitment to defense around the rim, with the team’s second-chance points limited to just 11.3 points per game (3rd in the league) and 48 points in the paint (14th). I’m here. This should be reinforced by Drummond’s return.
“I wasn’t here last year, but it was a big factor for them, a lot of offensive rebounds and a lot of blowbys,” Drummond said. “We took it personally through training camp and are showing it now.”
https://www.readingeagle.com/2022/11/10/andre-drummond-returns-to-the-chicago-bulls-lineup-after-getting-very-antsy-recovering-from-a-shoulder-injury/ Andre Drummond returns to Chicago Bulls lineup after ‘very upset’ recovery from shoulder injury – Leading Eagle