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The Chicago Bulls with be without forward Lauri Markkanen a bit longer than had been expected, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.
This Thursday is 7 weeks since Lauri Markkanen elbow injury. Bulls initially guessed 6-8 week absence. Fred Hoiberg said Bulls will take cautious approach to make sure he's 100 percent. Probably 2-4 weeks away.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) November 12, 2018
Markkanen suffered a high-grade sprain of his right elbow during practice in September. After an MRI examination revealed the extent of the injury, the team estimated one of the Bulls’ foundation pieces will miss six to eight weeks.
“He’s still not shooting a lot,’’ Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg told reporters before Chicago hosted the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night at United Center. “He’s shooting short-range shots. He’s getting really good conditioning workouts in, so when he is cleared to start shooting and has no pain in that type of activity, hopefully he can get back soon as far as when he’s cleared for contact. He’s doing as much as he can right now.
“So it’s going to take him a little while to get his timing and his conditioning back, but he’s doing as much as he can right now.’’
Hoiberg said the Bulls are taking the cautious approach with Markkanen.
“We need to make sure that he’s 100 percent before he goes back out there,’’ Hoiberg said. “You’d hate to have a setback that keeps him out for a longer stretch. We’ll continue to test that elbow, and soon as it’s pain-free he’ll be cleared to go out there and take some contact.’’
Hoiberg admitted the timeframe for Markkanen’s return to the court is longer than what was originally anticipated by the team.
“Eight weeks will be in two weeks, so yes, it will be more than the eight weeks [originally timetabled],” Hoiberg said. “Hopefully, he’s cleared to get out there and then get himself back in shape in those next two weeks to be ready to be back on the floor.’’