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Mike Dunleavy at least a month away from returning to Bulls lineup

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MILWAUKEE, WI - APRIL 30: Mike Dunleavy #34 of the Chicago Bulls walks onto the court before the start of the game against the Milwaukee Bucks during the first round of the 2015 NBA Playoffs at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on April 30, 2015 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using the photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mike McGinnis/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Mike Dunleavy

Mike McGinnis

Mike Dunleavy has yet to play a game for the Bulls this year after undergoing offseason back surgery, and from the looks of it, he won’t be back in the lineup anytime soon. Dunleavy re-signed with the Bulls over the summer on a three-year, $14.4 million deal after two solid seasons in Chicago, but setbacks in his rehab have pushed him well past the 8-10 week recovery timeline that the Bulls announced when he had the initial surgery shortly before training camp. On Saturday, Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said he’s at least a month away from returning:

This means Dunleavy will not return until after the All-Star break at the earliest. It’s not ideal, because the Bulls’ other small forwards (Doug McDermott, Tony Snell and Nikola Mirotic) have all been inconsistent. His solid shooting and defense will provide stability to their lineup once he returns. But back injuries are tricky, and Dunleavy is 35, so it’s still entirely possible he has another setback.