The Bulls have endured a number of key injuries early in the season, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Lauri Markkanen continues to work out at practice and is nearing what Fred Hoiberg called "controlled contact" in practice. Kris Dunn and Bobby Portis both also worked out at practice on Friday.
"That's the most that Kris Dunn and Bobby have done really since the injury, so really just continue to ramp up their activities," Hoiberg said. "Those guys are not ready for any type of contact yet. Lauri we're going to get him some type of controlled contact. These guys will all stay back and all get another good workout in tomorrow.
"It's good for these guys to get out here and continue to gain confidence and tomorrow to get a little bit of contact for Lauri, is the important next step."
Markkanen showed that his jump shot appears to be in good form during a drill at practice on Friday.
Lauri looking like he's ready to come back and drop 50 pic.twitter.com/cG9kKTZi6i— Bulls Talk (@NBCSBulls) November 23, 2018
Hoiberg explained that Markkanen had a controlled 1-on-1 drill on Thanksgiving and will go through "a scripted 2-on-2 session" with coaches so he will know when he's going to get hit.
"We'll see how he responds and then go from there," Hoiberg said.
There is still no target date for Markkanen, who is further along than Dunn and Portis in terms of his recovery timeline. Markkanen has yet to play this season due to an elbow sprain suffered in a preseason practice. Hoiberg showed some excitement when talking about getting him and Zach LaVine on the floor together.
"We should be getting Lauri back here soon and it's going to be fun to get those guys in two-man actions," Hoiberg said.
Dunn has played only one game this season, Oct. 22 at Dallas, after suffering a sprained MCL in the game. Portis started the first four games of the season, but has been out since with the same injury as Dunn.