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Report: Bulls’ Jimmy Butler could undergo off-season knee surgery

“At times I feel like I’m hurting this team,” Jimmy Butler said of his performance since sustaining a knee injury in February.
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Chicago Bulls shooting guard Jimmy Butler could undergo exploratory surgery on his left knee this off-season, reports Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun–Times.

Butler has dealt with a lingering knee injury since straining it in February. He missed 14 games after sustaining the injury, and he acknowledged his performance has suffered since his return to the court.

“Maybe. I hope not,” Butler said when asked about the possibility of surgery. “Is my knee the same as it was before the injury? No.

“But I want to play, man. And at times I feel like I’m hurting this team. That’s the most disappointing part because I’m not the player I was. I don’t know if there’s something really wrong in there, but it’s not really right, either. But I’ll be fine. I have to figure out a way to help us win playing with this. That’s all I’m worried about.”

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In seven games since his return on March 14, Butler is averaging 14.6 points per game compared with an average of 22.4 points in the 48 games before the injury.

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Butler scored 19 points with three assists and three rebounds in the Bulls’ 106–94 loss to the New York Knicks on Thursday. Chicago next plays the Orlando Magic on Saturday at Amway Center.

- Erin Flynn