Controlled contact for Bulls guard Coby White in rehab
Coach Billy Donovan said White took a big step in his return from offseason surgery on his left shoulder, taking a “little bit of contact” from player-development coaches. There’s still no timetable for his return to the rotation, but there’s at least some progress.
BOSTON — If it’s the Coby White from the May 16 game against the Bucks, coach Billy Donovan will take it.
The problem is that Donovan has no idea which White he’s getting, let alone when he’s getting him back in the mix.
White, who had offseason surgery on his left shoulder to repair a torn labrum, started taking “a little bit of contact against the player-development guys’’ the last few days, Donovan said Monday. But a long-term timetable is still unknown.
“Certainly he’s not cleared to go into contact with practice, but they’ve been cleared to do some things with him, obviously very, very controlled,’’ Donovan said. “I think the next step after that is, OK, can he be cleared to go into practice? And then, what does he look like in practice? How long does that take? I don’t know what that timetable is from him doing a little contact with the player-development guys to, ‘OK, here’s a date we know he can practice.’ But I think he’s getting closer to that date of coming to practice.’’
It’ll be interesting to see what role awaits White.
Donovan admitted he has no idea where the 2019 first-round pick’s game is at, insisting the last time he saw him was in last season’s regular-season finale against Milwaukee.
But if he’s anywhere near the level Donovan witnessed in that victory, he’ll take it.
White had 19 points, five assists and five rebounds. He also went 4-for-9 from three-point range.
Donovan would really like to see him add that long-range shooting to the second unit.
“He’ll really kind of boost that group by having another scorer out there because we’ve obviously had Lonzo [Ball], Alex [Caruso] and DeMar [DeRozan] out there together, and we may be looking at rotations when he comes back — is Lonzo maybe not out there, but Coby is?’’ Donovan said. “How do we work all that out?
‘‘I haven’t really given much thought to that because I still think there’s a little bit of time before he comes back. But the thing he really brings to the table would be his shooting.’’
White had the surgery June 10, and the original rehab timetable was four to six months. He’ll hit the five-month window late next week, so there’s no major concern from the organization.
The hope is that White can simply jump in a spot with that second group and do what he was doing at the end of last season.
“I want him going back to doing the things that have made him who he is,’’ Donovan said. “I just don’t know what that will look like now.’’
Ayo getting minutes
Former Illinois standout Ayo Dosunmu remained in the rotation Monday and continued to get solid minutes. He had 14 points and shot 6-for-6 from the field, including 2-for-2 from three-point range.
Donovan said the reason the 2021 second-round pick is getting solid work is he doesn’t stray from what he does best.
“He’s really, really competitive,’’ Donovan said. “He can play both ways. He understands who he is. He kind of plays to his strengths. And I think he’s reliable.
‘‘You kind of know what you’re going to get from him when he goes out there. I just have a lot of belief and trust and confidence in him.’’
It will be interesting to see what happens to Dosunmu’s playing time when White returns, however.