Bulls’ Mirotic plans to return this week

CHICAGO — Nikola Mirotic says barring a late setback, he plans to return to the Chicago Bulls’ lineup this week after ramping up his workouts in practice.

Mirotic suffered multiple facial fractures and a concussion after teammate Bobby Portis punched him during a practice fight in November.

The stretch forward has accepted Portis’ apology [through reporters] and the two have been interacting on the bench during games.

“My legs feel fresh and strong,” Mirotic said. “Hopefully when I get back I can make an impact to the team and help them win games. In the beginning I had little issues (with my shot) because I didn’t shoot for a long time. But my shot is feeling really good right now. I’m staying after practice taking extra shots, coming at night too. Working hard.”

The Bulls, owners of the worst record in the NBA at 3-18, take on the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday at home and then travel to Indiana to face the Pacers on Wednesday.

Expect Mirotic to sit out against the Cavs, who have won 11 in a row, and possibly make his season debut either versus the Pacers or Charlotte Hornets on Friday.

Mirotic, 26, has career averages of 10.8 points while shooting 40.9 percent from the field and 35.0 percent from three.