It was apparent from the get-go of Tuesday night's Bulls game againt the Toronto Raptors that Lauri Markkanen was off.
He went 2 of 10 from the field in the first half and didn't return after halftime, finishing with 10 points and nine rebounds in 16 quiet minutes.
After the game Jim Boylen said that Markkanen, who certainly looked like he could use a day off, was dealing with fatigue and "was feeling a little sluggish." Markkanen wasn't made available to reporters after the game because he was meeting with the Bulls medical staff.
As it turns out, Markkanen's fatigue was a little more serious. The Bulls sent out a release on Wednesday revealing that Markkanen spent the night in a local Toronto hospital to underdo further testing for what they described as "extreme fatigue." Markkanen was accompanied by team director of physical health Chip Schaefer, and that testing revealed nothing out of the ordinary for the Finnish forward, who returned to Chicago on Wednesday.
Markkanen has already been ruled out of Wednesday night's game against the Portland Trail Blazers and certainly could miss more time if the Bulls deem he isn't back to full stamina and strength. The Bulls play again on Saturday against the Raptors and Monday against the Knicks, and with Zach LaVine (thigh), Otto Porter (shoulder) and Kris Dunn (back) already out, it makes sense for the Bulls to be cautious with seven games remaining in their 21-54 season.
It could be a side effect from the flu-like symptoms Markkanen experienced back on March 1 against the Hawks, when he was unable to finish that ridiculous quadruple overtime game in Atlanta. Since that game, Markkanen hasn't missed any time (aside from the second half in Toronto) and averaged 15.7 points and 8.3 rebounds and is shooting just 38 percent and 29 percent from deep. It's a far cry from the 26.0 points, 12.2 rebounds and 48.6 percent shooting he put together in February.