An MRI exam revealed that Bulls guard Richard Hamilton suffered a torn plantar fascia in his left foot in Saturday night's 93-88 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
''He will return to play as his symptoms permit,'' the Bulls said in a statement.
The team's statement indicates that Hamilton's status is day-to-day. But the torn plantar fascia is one of those injuries with a variance of recovery schedules. Some players return in a week. Others take months. Toronto Raptors shooting guard Alan Anderson is out three to six weeks with a torn plantar fascia.
Hamilton suffered the injury jumping to make a pass to Carlos Boozer in the third quarter against the 76ers. He said he ''felt something pop'' when he jumped and had to be carried off the court by teammates. After getting examined by trainer Fred Tedeschi, Hamilton was cleared to re-enter the game and did so twice in the final 20 seconds of the game. He hit 3-of-4 free throws to clinch the victory.
The Bulls (8-7) play the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night at the United Center. They play at Cleveland on Wednesday and at Detroit on Friday before returning to the United Center to play the Knicks on Saturday.
If Hamilton can't play, second-year guard Jimmy Butler or newcomer Marco Belinelli likely would replace him in the starting lineup. Butler, who is averaging nearly 16 minutes a game off the bench this season, appears ready for the opportunity for a bigger role.