November 27, 2018 / 12:40 AM / 4 months ago

Bulls PF Markkanen nears return from elbow injury

Nov 5, 2018; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks shooting guard Allonzo Trier (14) hugs Chicago Bulls power forward Lauri Markkanen (24) before a game at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bulls power forward Lauri Markkanen is scheduled for full participation in practice Tuesday as he works his way back from a preseason right elbow injury.

Markkanen took part in two-on-two sessions on Sunday, and a successful practice stint could move him closer to making his season debut.

“Obviously, depending on how he does with that will determine how quickly we can get him back out on the floor,” Chicago coach Fred Hoiberg told reporters of Markkanen on Monday. “If he has soreness, we’ll slow it down a little bit. But he has passed every hurdle to this point. He has been medically cleared.

“He has done a lot of one-on-zero workouts, strength workouts, non-contact portions of practice, a controlled two-on-two and a full two-on-two with teammates. The next step is to get him unlimited with full contact in practice. Hopefully he responds to that well.”

Markkanen enjoyed a solid rookie season last year when he averaged 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds in 68 games.

The 7-footer injured his elbow in September, and the Bulls’ Monday game against the San Antonio Spurs will mark the 21st he has missed.

Also, Chicago guard Denzel Valentine will undergo his left ankle surgery on Tuesday. He is expected to miss four to six months. Valentine hasn’t played this season due to the injury.

Rookie Chandler Hutchison (back) has missed the past three games, but Hoiberg said the forward could return against the Spurs.

—Field Level Media

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