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McDermott sits with an injured right knee

For the first time in over a week, Doug McDermott’s dwindling minutes off the bench wasn’t an issue.

Not when the rookie was dealing with a swollen right knee which forced him to miss his first game of the season.

The good news? McDermott didn’t even have an MRI done a deemed it “minor.’’ The head-scratcher? He’s not even sure how it happened.

“Just swelling really,’’ McDermott said. “I’ve been keeping the ice on it, hoping it gets better. That’s the crazy thing. We got off the plane [Sunday night], that night I think my knee was just swelling up and I couldn’t sleep very well. The next day I came in and worked out with [assistant coach Andy] Greer, and kinda went through some movements, something didn’t feel right, so I’ve just been throwing ice on it and not going to go [Tuesday].’’

McDermott will travel with the team for the game in Charlotte on Wednesday, and if it feels better by game-time will go. Well, he’ll go as many minutes as he’ll be given by coach Tom Thibodeau.

It’s been a rough stretch for the 11th pick overall, as McDermott was averaging 14.7 minutes per game through the first seven games of the season, but has seen that drop to 9.4 minutes per game over the last 10, including averaging just 6.8 minutes over the last four games.

In the win over Boston on Friday, McDermott got a season-low two minutes of work.

Thibodeau continued to sing the praises of highly-touted rookies Nikola Mirotic and McDermott, but it’s obvious that the coach has more faith in Mirotic right now than the draft pick from Creighton.

“The young guys that we have that we were able to add to the team are very talented, they’re coming along, and they’re only going to get better,’’ Thibodeau said. “Just keep working.’’

As far as the other injuries on the roster, only Taj Gibson is on the shelf, still working through a sprained left ankle that has now cost him five games.

With a back-to-back, it’s unlikely that Gibson would be available against the Hornets, but is eyeing up a possible return on Saturday, when the Bulls host Golden State.