DETROIT - When Richard Hamilton tore the plantar fascia in his left foot last weekend, there was a lot of one- to two-weeks thrown out there as the recovery time.
That still might be the case for the Bulls shooting guard, but Hamilton admitted on Friday that a month on the shelf might be more realistic.
"[The doctors] said four weeks, but they said I could probably come back before that,'' Hamilton said. "Every one's body is different, so it's just one of those things where you want to try and get better every day.
"We're working really hard on it, trying to get flexibility, trying to get the swelling down, get all the blood that's in there down. Every day it gets better. The good thing about it is there hasn't been a setback or anything like that.''
Hamilton did go into more detail on the injury, reiterating that tearing it might have been the best thing to happen, just because it will heal and then shouldn't be a lingering problem.
"Yeah, it was the craziest ... I thought the tape exploded on my foot,'' Hamilton said. "In talking to the doctor, they told me that it was probably a good thing that it happened that way. The whole plantar fascia, when you have it, it tends to stick with players all year. So by me popping it, it was actually a good thing because once it heals, it heals for good.''
More than the pain in his left foot, Hamilton expressed the heartache of missing the game in Detroit. The veteran played nine seasons with the Pistons, won a title for the city, and was really looking forward to another homecoming.
"Oh man, this is the game I got on my calendar, if any,'' Hamilton said. "The one game you mark before the season even starts and say, 'Oh man, I can't even wait.' To be injured, it's frustrating for me because you want to help the team get a win.''
Three keys to surviving Detroit:
1. Keep streaking - The Bulls have been in the heads of the Pistons for quite some time, bringing a 15-game winning streak into "The D'' tonight. The Pistons have some new faces, but also are bringing back a core that has continually lost to Chicago, no matter who was on the court for the Bulls or who was on the shelf. No Rip, no Rose, no problem.
2. Marco! Polo! - Fresh off a season-high 23 points, as well as the most points he scored since putting a Bulls jersey on, Marco Belinelli is finally looking comfortable. Maybe it's just his time to settle in or maybe it's now being in the starting lineup in place of the injured Hamilton, either way, it's working. If Belinelli can get off against the Pistons, his confidence will only continue to grow.
3. Getting defensive - The Bulls are just a bad match-up for a Pistons team that has trouble putting the ball in the basket against an average NBA team. Now factor in the best defensive team in the league is coming to town? That 93.2 scoring average per game for Detroit is not going to be enough.