Report: Nikola Mirotic still ‘several weeks away’ from return

SHARE Report: Nikola Mirotic still ‘several weeks away’ from return

Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic (44) drives on Miami Heat guard Tyler Johnson during the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Jan. 25, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Nicola Mirotic was originally expected to miss three-to-five weeks after undergoing an emergency appendectomy last month, but a surprise hematoma removal will sideline him much longer.

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said Tuesday that the big man is still “several weeks away” from returning to Chicago’s lineup.

Mirotic hasn’t played since a Jan. 25 loss to the Heat and the Bulls are 2-6 in the eight games since. The good news is that Mirotic has started working out again – though he has reportedly lost 15 pounds since the surgeries.

A video posted by Nikola Mirotic (@threekola) on Feb 15, 2016 at 1:37pm PST

A video posted by Nikola Mirotic (@threekola) on Feb 12, 2016 at 2:21pm PST

Here we go.. #recuperation #day1 — Nikola Mirotic (@threekola) February 12, 2016

The Bulls have struggled mightily without Mirotic, Jimmy Butler and Joakim Noah, who is expected to miss the remainder of the season after undergoing shoulder surgery last month.

Chicago has been especially poor on the defensive side, allowing more than 110 points per game over its last seven.

The Bulls will return from the All-Star break in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, but just a game ahead of the ninth-place Pistons. And the schedule doesn’t get much easier – six of Chicago’s next seven games are against teams currently in playoff position, beginning with Cleveland on Thursday.

Stats via ESPN

The Latest
He’s confident the rehab start he will make with Triple-A Iowa on Sunday will be the only one he needs before returning.
The Bulls accomplished most of their major offseason goals the last month, and while that should be a good thing it might not be enough. The Eastern Conference is only improving both ahead and behind the Bulls.
Dylan Cease was named American League Pitcher of the Month for June on Saturday. He allowed one run in five innings, helping the Sox to an important 5-3 win.
A petition organized the Coalition For A Better Chinese American Community and Ald. Byron Sigcho-Lopez (25th) will ask the city next week to revoke licenses for No. 18 Karaoke Bar.
Griner is 135 days into her detainment in Russia and one day into her trial on drug charges, which are punishable by up to 10 years in prison.