Between Dec. 1 and Dec. 13, 10 Chicago Bulls players entered the NBA's health and safety protocols.
In turn, the league postponed the team's Dec. 14 home game against the Detroit Pistons and Dec. 16 road bout against the Toronto Raptors earlier this week.
While still not back to full strength, that pause led to the team making some headway in the health and safety department.
Here is a rundown of which Bulls players are in and out of health and safety protocols with a home matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers looming at 7 p.m. CT on Sunday:
Which Chicago Bulls players are out of COVID-19 protocols?
Better yet, White, Green and DeRozan are available to return for Sunday's game against the Lakers.
Jones Jr., meanwhile, is questionable for the contest as he ramps his conditioning back up to game-readiness.
The Bulls on Saturday held their first practice since being paused, which also marked the team's first formal group activity since their Dec. 11 loss at the Miami Heat. That allowed the players who have exited protocols to continue acclimating themselves to game speed after their time away.
White missed fives games in protocols, Green four and DeRozan three.
Which Chicago Bulls players are in COVID-19 protocols?
Matt Thomas, Ayo Dosunmu, Zach LaVine, Troy Brown Jr. and Alize Johnson all remain in health and safety protocols. Stanley Johnson, who was also in protocols, had his 10-day contract with the team expire on Saturday.
NBA guidelines dictate that players in protocols must remain there for 10 days, or until they return two negative PCR tests in a 24-hour window, before exiting. Then, they must pass cardiac screening before being cleared to play. Thomas entered protocols on Dec. 8, Jones Jr. on Dec. 9, Dosunmu on Dec. 11, LaVine and Brown Jr. on Dec. 12, and Alize Johnson on Dec. 13.
Thomas appears close to being cleared from protocols, as he was listed Saturday night as doubtful for the Lakers game.
But Donovan said Thursday that the team doesn't expect Dosunmu, LaVine, Brown Jr. or Alize Johnson back until after Christmas.
“That obviously can change based on the testing protocols, which has obviously got to be two negative tests,” Donovan added. “But that’s kind of what we’re anticipating at this point and time.”
While that timeline may appear alarming on the surface, it's as much a product of the Bulls' schedule as anything. The Bulls have three home games on the schedule between now and Christmas — Dec. 19 against the Lakers, Dec. 20 against the Rockets and Dec. 22 against the Raptors. Then, they don't play again until a back-to-back against the Pacers (at home) on Dec. 26 and Hawks (on the road) on Dec. 27.
Given that Dec. 22 game is right around the 10-day mark in protocols for Dosunmu, LaVine, Brown Jr. and Alize Johnson, it makes sense for the team to not expect them to be fully game-ready by then. Whether any or all of them are cleared to return immediately after the holiday remains to be seen.
Who is available for Bulls-Lakers?
On the Bulls' side, DeRozan, White, Green, Lonzo Ball, Nikola Vučević, Alex Caruso, Tony Bradley, Marko Simonović, Alfonzo McKinnie, Devon Dotson and Tyler Cook make 11 available players for Sunday. Jones Jr. would make 12 if he is eventually cleared.
The Lakers, meanwhile, have six players listed out and in health and safety protocols: Avery Bradley, Talen Horton-Tucker, Dwight Howard, Malik Monk, Austin Reaves and Kent Bazemore.
Anthony Davis is also out (and scheduled to be re-evaluted in four weeks) with an MCL sprain. Trevor Ariza (right ankle injury recovery) is questionable. Kendrick Nunn recently cleared protocols, but is out with a bone bruise in his right knee.
And on Sunday morning, Lakers head coach Frank Vogel entered protocols as well. David Fizdale will coach the contest in his stead.
Los Angeles is, as of this writing, expected to have LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony, Wayne Ellington, Rajon Rondo, Isaiah Thomas, DeAndre Jordan, Chaundee Brown and Jay Huff available against the Bulls.
Have any Chicago Bulls coaches entered COVID-19 protocols?
Donovan said Thursday that he and his staff have continued to test negative for COVID-19.
"We’ve been all fine. We’ve been doing the same thing that the rest of the players are doing for the most part. We are testing on a regular basis," Donovan said. "With all the testing that we are doing, you hope and pray that we’re on the back end and maybe not in the middle of it.”
Donovan has also said that the majority of the Bulls' protocol entrants have either experienced mild symptoms or are asymptomatic altogether.