CHICAGO -- Jimmy Butler hopes he can return before the regular season ends as he works his way back from a sprained ligament in his left elbow.
Butler, who injured the elbow in the third quarter of Sunday's loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, admitted that it was "devastating" to learn he would be out three to six weeks.
"I'm doing all right," Butler said after Tuesday's shootaround. "I'm just trying my best to hurry back, being careful, of course, but I'm not going to say I'm happy. ... My ligament just has to heal, and I've got to be able to move my left arm like I move my right before I can get out there and do anything."
Butler's injury capped one of the most trying weeks of the Bulls' season. Derrick Rose underwent a meniscectomy on his right knee Friday and is expected to miss four to six weeks. Taj Gibson sprained his left ankle and was wearing a walking boot at the United Center on Sunday.
Despite the setbacks, Butler remains optimistic that both he and Rose can come back sooner rather than later. He said the pain in his elbow has already started to subside.
"I think we both want to be back ASAP," Butler said. "As soon as possible. But I think we both have to be smart about it. I'm not going to say we're going to come back on the same day because I don't know, but I definitely think we both want to make it back before the end of the season."
Coach Tom Thibodeau acknowledged that the Bulls are still exploring the idea of adding another player after all the injuries in the past week.
"Obviously you want luck, you want a lot of things to go your way," Thibodeau said. "There are times when things do go your way. I think the measure of a man is what do you do when it's not going your way. As I said yesterday, no one's going to feel sorry for us, so it's up to us to make good."
Thibodeau did not want to look at what might have been, when it was pointed out that the 2010-11 team that went to the Eastern Conference finals had relatively good health. Rose missed only one game that season. He has played in only 95 of a possible 290 since.
"You hate to what-if; you deal with what is," Thibodeau said. "Things change quickly. Just as they change that way doesn't mean they can't change the other way. So things haven't gone our way for a couple years, well, maybe now they do. That's all you can do. Whatever your circumstances are, you try to make the best of those circumstances, don't make any excuses. Just get out there and get it done."