Bulls’ Denzel Valentine hoping to show improvement after recovering from reconstructed ankle
Denzel Valentine is hoping to tackle his third season in the league with a vast show of improvement. The Chicago Bulls wing is coming off a reconstructed ankle after lingering issues took away his third season in the league in 2018-19.
What was once a moderate ankle sprain ultimately led to a reconstructive procedure that kept him from the court. Valentine’s original recovery timeline was four-to-six months after he went under the knife. While he is still a week away from being cleared to resume to 5-on-5 workouts, Valentine is expected to return on “a brand-new ankle” once the 2019-20 starts, hopefully showing much more than he was able to upon finishing his second season in April 2018.
“I was just continuing to improve,” Valentine told Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic. “That was something big. I think I’ll keep doing that, just showing my improvements. I was getting more comfortable in my role and showing my capabilities and my whole floor game from my first year to my second year. This third year, I’m going to take it to another level too. Just show what I can do and take everything to the next level.”
Valentine’s biggest problem will no longer be adapting to the speed of the game, as it was his first two seasons, but rather trusting the ankle upon his first time taking the floor.
“It’s going to be an adjustment,” said Valentine. “But I’ve played two years in the league, so I think I’m going to adjust quicker than I think. It’s just going to take a little bit of time. And I understand that.”
The Bulls will need his shooting and slashing ability this season, playing a large part in the team’s depth — but Valentine will first need to be comfortable taking the floor before he shows the new tricks up his sleeve.