Bulls about to get defensive with guard Alex Caruso on his way back

Caruso finally tested out of the health and safety protocols, getting work in on Monday. While his minutes will still be a question, as long as there are no setbacks he will play Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

SHARE Bulls about to get defensive with guard Alex Caruso on his way back

The Bulls still won’t be getting whole this week, but they likely will be getting the heart of their defense back.

Coach Billy Donovan said guard Alex Caruso finally tested out of the NBA’s coronavirus health-and-safety protocols and might be back when the Bulls host the Cavaliers on Wednesday.

The Bulls still must determine how many minutes Caruso will be able to play, given that he has been in and out of the lineup since Dec. 4, when he first tweaked a hamstring to start a spiral of missed time.

‘‘He did some work [Monday], he’ll do some work [Tuesday] and [we’ll] probably make some kind of assessment at that point before the Cleveland game,’’ Donovan said. ‘‘I think the bigger issue I don’t know the answer to right now is, what are his minutes going to look like when he does come back? Because he really has been out since Dec. 4.

‘‘He had that hamstring in Brooklyn that kind of held him out, then he came back and played against the Lakers, kind of got that mid-foot sprain against Houston, then came back and was ready to go and got COVID. So there really hasn’t been consistency for him.

‘‘This has almost been like a six-week thing for him where he’s been in and out, so we’ll have to have a plan . . . what his minutes will look like to help him get back to what he was. I don’t know what that looks like. I really haven’t had a chance to talk to him about that.’’

But the Bulls getting all of their defensive stars back will have to wait.

Guard Lonzo Ball still was bothered by a sore knee, and the team decided to have him fly home before the game Monday at the Grizzlies so that he could see team doctors and make sure it was nothing serious.

And while forward Javonte Green started working out with the Windy City Bulls in the G League, his injured groin wasn’t cooperating as well as hoped.

‘‘The challenge with [Green] — just talking to the medical guys — there are still some things that he’s doing movement-wise that he can still feel [the injury],’’ Donovan said. ‘‘They obviously push him to a point, and then they pull back. The problem for him is when we’ve really got him ramped up a little bit more, especially laterally, there’s been some things he feels.

‘‘Not to say that he’s set himself back; I don’t mean to say that. . . . Trying to get some opportunities where he could be playing against contact will be helpful.’’

Donovan already had called Green very doubtful for Wednesday.

Hill update

For a guy who had only a few hours to get acclimated to the Bulls’ system, forward Malcolm Hill impressed Donovan in his 18-minute debut Saturday against the Celtics. Donovan leaned on Hill off the bench again against the Grizzlies, and he responded with 12 points.

‘‘He’s been great as a guy,’’ Donovan said of Hill, who played at Illinois. ‘‘We’ve been really fortunate. I think [general manager] Marc [Eversley] and [executive vice president] Arturas [Karnisovas] have done a great job bringing in guys that fit very well inside our team.’’

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