Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen likely out until All-Star Break

By Field Level Media
Feb 3, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen (24) dribbles the ball against New York Knicks center Nerlens Noel (3) during the first quarter at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen is highly unlikely to return before the NBA All-Star Break because of his sprained right shoulder, according to the team.

Before Wednesday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Markkanen had missed the previous nine games with the ailment.

Head coach Billy Donovan provided a status update on the young forward.

“He makes progress, but he has not done anything contact-wise, he’s done nothing that at this point in time would show us that he’s going to be back within the next week,” Donovan said. “Could it happen? Sure. Do I feel like it’s likely it’s going to happen? Probably not.”

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Markkanen, a fourth-year player out of the University of Arizona, was having a breakout season through his first 14 contests.

He is currently averaging a career-best 19.1 points per game to go along with 6.1 rebounds. His 51.4 percent field-goal percentage and 39.6 percent shooting from 3-point range are also career highs.

Markkanen has now missed extended time due to injury in three straight seasons but will look to regain his form after the All-Star Break.

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–Field Level Media