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Denzel Valentine came up lame in the third quarter of his preseason opener, injuring his left ankle in the Bulls’ 93-91 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks Monday at the United Center.

While defending Bucks guard Michael Carter-Williams, Valentine took a hard step and turned his ankle, immediately grabbing it on his way to the floor, writhing in pain.

He went to the locker room and didn’t return after 11 minutes of playing time.

Being one of the few impressive reserves, he looked comfortable in his first taste of NBA action.

It doesn’t appear to be anything too pressing and clearly the Bulls will take a cautious approach with him, as the regular season is over three weeks away. Valentine said it’ll be “a couple days” and he’ll be back on the floor.

“I just closed out, took two steps and my feet got too close together and I just twisted it,” Valentine said. “I’ll get in tomorrow, get some treatment, rehab it. Work with my strength coaches and try to get healthy and back to 100 percent.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

Valentine went behind the back for a jumper early in the second quarter, drawing some ‘oohhs’ and ‘ahhs’ from the bench and the crowd that saw him play for the first time.

Known as a ballhandler, he ran the floor with Rajon Rondo running the point, converting for a three-point play on his other field goal, looking quite comfortable as opposed to out of sorts or nervous.


“I felt like I was comfortable, like I was getting into a rhythm, felt like everything was going well for me,” Valentine said. “I’m kinda mad but it is what it is.”