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Nikola Mirotic not ready to return after second surgery

One of a number of Chicago Bulls players that remains sidelined, forward Nikola Mirotic had to go through a second surgery since being sidelined after undergoing an appendectomy in late January.

He was originally expected to be available right after the All-Star break, but after losing significant weight there is no timetable for his return at this time. 

This second procedure, conducted earlier this month, was to remove a hematoma. In layman terms, the second-year forward had a clotted mass of blood within the tissues. 

To be clear, the situation Mirotic found himself in was pretty serious:

“When I went home (after the first surgery), I went with pain,” Mirotic said, via ESPN. “They told me after first surgery, don’t worry, next day you can go home. But I was not feeling good. So I stayed one more night. So after two days, I went home and I had all night a high fever. I was still in pain. The next morning, they make me come back and they find some hematoma inside my stomach and told me they need to do a second surgery.”

This is primarily an emergency surgery after mistakes were made in the initial appendectomy. And while authorities refused to admit a mistake was made, they did tell Mirotic that it’s the first time they have seen anything like this in 30 years.

As it relates to a potential return to the court, the forward doesn’t seem to have a timetable:

“I want the soonest. Last year, I just missed one game. The good thing is I know my body is young and I can recover soon. I don’t know. Maybe two, three weeks. I don’t know what the time is.”

Considering the original time frame for Mirotic’s return was a month, having to undergo a second procedure will likely push his return to March.

That’s only magnified by the fact that the forward had lost a lot of weight after undergoing the second surgery and has just started walking again:

“I lost 17, 18 pounds. But now I’m trying to get that weight back. I recovered some pounds. But it’s still early,” Mirotic said. “Now, finally I can walk and do some stuff in the pool and weight room. I don’t know how many days, weeks. But as soon as I can. That’s what I want and what the team wants.”

With Joakim Noah lost for the season and Jimmy Butler still sidelined, the Bulls find themselves in an unenviable position heading into the unofficial second half of the season. They are currently the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference with a 27-25 record.

Getting Mirotic back will definitely help. It just remains to be seen when that might happen.