NBA

Bulls: MRI shows Butler has a knee strain, no timetable for return

TORONTO, CA - JANUARY 3: Jimmy Butler #21 of the Chicago Bulls drives to the basket against the Toronto Raptors during the game on January 3, 2016 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)

TORONTO, CA - JANUARY 3: Jimmy Butler #21 of the Chicago Bulls drives to the basket against the Toronto Raptors during the game on January 3, 2016 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)

Jimmy Butler left Friday night's game against the Nuggets with what appeared to be a scary knee injury. He remained down for several minutes, and was taken from the court in a wheelchair as a precaution.

Bulls fans can now exhale a little bit, after an MRI showed it was merely a strain.

The official release, via Bulls.com:

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An MRI performed today on Bulls forward Jimmy Butler's left knee confirmed that he sustained a knee strain in the second quarter of last night's game against the Denver Nuggets. The timeline for his return to play will be determined by further evaluation in Chicago and his response to treatment.

The Bulls could give Butler an extended rest if they choose to take their time in bringing him back. The team has just two games before the All-Star break -- Monday at Charlotte and Wednesday vs. the Hawks -- and then doesn't play again until Feb. 18 in Cleveland against the Cavaliers.

That would give Butler 12 days to get right, but it would also mean he'd miss playing in the All-Star game. If he does return to the lineup for one of the next two games, that would likely mean that the injury, thankfully, wasn't all that serious.