Bulls’ Markkanen scheduled to make season debut
In an unexpected development, LauriMarkkanen was set to make his season debut for the Bulls on Saturday night against the Rockets, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Markkanen, who missed the first 23 games with a right elbow injury suffered during the first week of training camp, was expected to be on a minutes restriction if he goes through warmups without issue. Prior to the game, the coaching staff was still determining if Markkanen would start or come off the bench.
A return on Tuesday at the Pacers had been discussed internally, and coach Fred Hoiberg said last week that Markkanen would need “at least a week” of work after being cleared for contact. But Markkanen has undergone two contact practices and multiple individual workouts without issue.
So the Bulls made the move to decide to play him against the Rockets.
“I feel good,” Markkanen said Friday night in Detroit. “I’ve got a couple practices in and no pain, so that’s a good sign. There’s been nothing the next day after practice. I’ve been playing normally. So that’s good.”
The Bulls didn’t hold a morning shootaround Saturday because of backto-back games. But the schedule plays out well for Markkanen to return on Saturday. The Bulls don’t play again until Tuesday and then have another two days off until a Friday home game against the Thunder.
Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen has missed the first 23 games with a right elbow injury.