The Chicago Bulls expect prized rookie center Wendell Carter Jr. to miss eight to 12 weeks because of a left thumb injury.
The team said Friday that surgery has been recommended for Carter, who was hurt Tuesday against the Lakers.
The injury was initially diagnosed as a sprain, but more tests and a follow-up examination with Bulls hand specialists John Fernandez and Mark Cohen on Friday revealed it was more serious and potentially season-ending.
Carter, the No. 7 overall draft pick, averages 10.3 points and 7 rebounds.
The Bulls own the second-worst record in the NBA at 10-35. They have been hit hard by injuries and changed coaches, with Jim Boylen replacing Fred Hoiberg.
Chinese New Year celebrations
The NBA will again celebrate the Chinese New Year around the league as well as in China from Jan. 30-Feb. 18.
The league will debut a trio of new multi-platform series featuring three 2018 All-Stars Giannis Antetokounmpo, Damian Lillard and Klay Thompson. More than 60 games will be broadcast in China during the 20-day celebration while 15 NBA teams will host in-arena activities to celebrate the New Year.
Former NBA player Jason Terry will visit China to celebrate with fans. erry conducted basketball clinics and interacted with underprivileged children in Changsha, Hunan and Beijing.
NBA fans in China will be able to watch live broadcasts on CCTV, Tencent, BesTV, Guangdong Radio and Television, GreatSports, Videoland, ELTA, Eleven Sports, Sports 2 World, Migu C and ViuTV, the league said.