Happy he has his teeth, Bulls' Dunn eager to get back on court
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Most people who were merely spectators have a difficult time watching video of Kris Dunn's face-first crash to the basketball floor.
Dunn, meeting reporters Wednesday for the first time since that concussion-inducing accident, didn't shy away from watching the video himself.
"My dad made me watch it plenty of times," Dunn said. "It was definitely a scary fall. But as long as I had my teeth in there, I was fine. I played football, so as long as those were in there, I'm good."
Yes, his teeth looked fine, but no one is certain when Dunn will return to game action. Dunn said he would love to play Friday when his former team, Minnesota, visits the United Center, but he doesn't want to push it.
Playing this weekend, when the Bulls host Minnesota and Washington, seems unlikely. Whether he'll be ready next week or wait until after the all-star break remains to be seen.
"He's a ways away," coach Fred Hoiberg said. "He hasn't done anything for three weeks. His inactivity will prevent him from playing anytime soon. But the important thing is he was able to do some noncontact drills yesterday, he's been on the treadmill, he's completed the bike portion.
"He will meet with our doctor after today's practice. Hopefully he gets out of the (concussion) protocol and he can get back on the floor and can up his physical activity."
Dunn said this was not his first concussion. He got one during summer league as a rookie when he was hit in the jaw by Toronto's Jakob Poeltl.
His latest concussion happened late in the Jan. 17 loss to Golden State at the United Center. Dunn stole the ball, rushed in for a breakaway dunk, then lost his balance as he let go of the rim and crashed to the floor. His mouth was bloody, but Dunn was able to walk to the locker room under his own power.
"I knew what to expect -- a lot of headaches," he said. "You're going to feel fog some days, low energy, fatigue. I never slept so much. In the daytime, you'll just go to sleep out of nowhere. And then at night, you'll be up all night. It was tough to get through."
It has been three weeks since the injury occurred. Dunn was planning to join the Bulls on their three-game Western road trip last week, but the team decided it would be better for him to stay in Chicago. He finally got on the court Tuesday, joining in on the lighter portions of a Windy City Bulls practice.
"The concussion protocol was a pain. It kept coming back," Dunn said. "When I thought I felt good, it just kept rising some days. I'd go outside, try to take walks and clear my head and it wasn't doing well. It took awhile, but now I'm doing good.
"I can tell you one thing, my legs are dead. I didn't get to do too much. When you have certain injuries like a sprained ankle or anything, you can do activities. But with a concussion you can't. So yesterday was kind of like my first time actually touching the floor."
The Bulls have gone 1-7 since Dunn was sidelined by the concussion. He was arguably the team's most valuable player during the midseason surge. While the Bulls went 14-7 from Dec. 8 through Jan. 15, Dunn averaged 15.0 points, 8.2 assists and 2.2 steals. He missed the start of the regular season with a dislocated finger.
"I tell people all the time that I got hurt more in basketball than I did in football," he said. "It's kind of weird to me. All of them have been freak accidents."
Will he back off the next time he gets a chance for a breakaway dunk?
"Nah, I'm going to go dunk it for sure," he said. "You can't be scared when things like this happen. You just have to keep doing what you do."
• Twitter: @McGrawDHBulls.