Another February practice, another laundry list of injury updates from your Chicago Bulls.
The most alarming nugget came just before media availability when the team announced Coby White had tweaked his back ahead of practice. White didn't practice and his status hasn’t been updated for this Saturday's bout with the Knicks.
"He was doing his practice routine that he does every day, every practice day. His pre-practice routine. So, just one of those things," Boylen said when asked about the injury. "We feel he can work his way through this and we'll see how he feels tonight, and he'll do his treatment all day, and we'll see how he feels tomorrow."
On a brighter note, Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter Jr. and Denzel Valentine all participated in practice after some contact work with the Windy City Bulls on Wednesday. Carter put his chances of playing Saturday at about "80 to 90 percent " but said he'll definitely be on a minutes restriction whenever he returns.
"It’s been pretty frustrating because I’ve been wanting to get back out there right after All-Star break but I knew it was going to be a process. So, just getting my wind back," Carter said of the slow-moving nature of the recovery process. "They told me [the ankle is] not going to be 100 percent perfect when I come back. Just moreso getting my strength back in my ankle because I haven’t been playing for over a month now. It’s going to be a little bit weak but continuing to play, continuing to put more stress on it is going to make it stronger."
Boylen said he's "hopeful" that Carter and Valentine will play against the Knicks, but ruled Porter out. According to Boylen, there hasn't been a setback in Porter's progress — he's been cleared for contact and is participating in practice regularly — but there is still no exact target date for his return.
Here's a name you haven't heard in a while: Lauri Markkanen was on the floor shooting and working through some drills near the end of practice. Markkanen is five weeks into his initial four-to-six-week recovery timeline from an early stress reaction in his pelvis.
Lauri Markkanen getting some work in pic.twitter.com/hPhISfstyY— Rob Schaefer (@rob_schaef) February 27, 2020
"He just had his workout in. He didn't have any contact today. He got his conditioning in, his lift in, his shooting in, his skillwork in. We call it a batting practice day," Boylen said of Markkanen, adding that he thinks Markkanen is close to being cleared for contact.
"Lauri's a worker," Boylen continued. "When he gets his chance to do his work, he does his work. When he can get into that mode and he gets his clearance, he gets after it. When we can have contact with him, we will and we'll evaluate that as we go."
Luke Kornet was ruled out for the next six to eight weeks (likely ending his season) with a severely sprained ankle and fracture of his fifth metatarsal on Thursday morning. Chandler Hutchison remains out with shoulder soreness and has no timeline to return.