Luol Deng
Photo: AP

It’s been perhaps the most difficult period of Luol Deng’s professional basketball career, but the two-time NBA All-Star for the Chicago Bulls is confident of bouncing back from illness after a spinal tap.

Writing on Twitter Thursday, Deng said, “I’m getting better each day. I want to thank the fans for the great support this year, but more importantly I really appreciate all the concern and support about my health.”

The 28-year-old Deng was hospitalized about two weeks ago and he underwent a spinal tap for viral meningitis. The procedure came back negative, but caused complications forcing further hospitalization.

Luol Deng dunks during first-round NBA playoff series last month against the Brooklyn Nets
Photo: AP

“As a result of the spinal tap,” said Deng, “I suffered the worst headache I ever experienced and was the weakest I ever felt.”

Weak, groggy and disoriented, the South Sudan-born star held out hope that he might recover and play against the reigning NBA champion Miami Heat in a playoff series. But he missed all five games and Miami advanced, 4-1.

Luol Deng is looking forward to a healthier 2013-2014 season

Two other top players on the Bulls, guards Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich, also missed the series because of injuries. Like Luol Deng, they’re now looking ahead to next season.

Chicago forward Carlos Boozer, who had a game-high 26 points and 14 rebounds in Game 5 against Miami, is keeping his fingers crossed: “If we’re healthy next season, we’re going to be pretty good.”