Luol Deng didn’t respond well to spinal tap
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
CHICAGO – Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng on Thursday painted an unpleasant and graphic depiction of his illness and the side effects of a spinal tap.
Deng has been in and out the hospital since May 1 when he was underwent a test for viral meningitis and has missed Chicago’s past four games – the final two games of the Bulls’ seven-game first-round series against the Brooklyn Nets and the first two games vs. the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
“I did the spinal tap and just after that, I just didn’t respond well,” Deng told reporters Thursday. “Started having severe headaches. I was struggling to walk. I started feeling really weak. Started throwing up. Constant diarrhea. I just couldn’t control my body really. Because of that, I lost a lot of weight. Still just trying to get back, just trying to get right because I still don’t feel (well).
“I’ve never been through anything like that in my whole life. It was scary for me. It was scary for everyone that was around me. I’ve never seen anything like that. I never knew of a spinal tap before then. Didn’t know the reaction or the side effect. I was really scared.”
The test for meningitis was negative. In about 10 days, Deng has lost 15 pounds, and the weight loss combined with illness and complications from the spinal tap have left the scoring and defending forward questionable for at least Game 3 on Friday and possibly more games.
“I tried to shoot a little bit and struggled. I couldn’t do it. But we’ll see,” Deng said. “It’s really my first day out of the house and out of the hospital. I really haven’t left my bed that much.”
Asked when he anticipates returning, he said, “I don’t know. I want to play, but I don’t know what I can do. I haven’t done anything. It really sucks.”
That’s not all. Deng played all season with a torn ligament in his left wrist, which was known, and he revealed on Thursday that he played a portion of this season with a fractured thumb.