Nick Friedell: Niko Mirotic checks into his first game of the season.
More Rumors in this Storyline
KC Johnson: Mirotic will dress for 1st time tonight, won’t play. Hoiberg on Friday avail: “The biggest thing will be how he responds to the practice tomorrow and then the shootaround on Friday. If he gets through without any setbacks, then he will be available on Friday.”
Mike McGraw: Hoiberg said Mirotic will practice Tue then team will decide whether he’ll travel. Says Niko playing Wed at Indy is a stretch. #Bulls
KC Johnson: Hoiberg said Mirotic “will be in the rotation” but now says not guaranteed he’ll travel on 2-game trip. Practicing with Windy City could be more beneficial.
Vincent Goodwill: Nikola Mirotic said the plan is to play this week. He’s lost about 5-6 pounds from this summer, said his conditioning has improved
Mike McGraw: Nikola Mirotic is sitting at his locker at the United Center. First time he’s attended a regular season game this season. #Bulls
“It’s great having [Nikola Mirotic] back on the floor,” agreed Hoiberg. “Just looking at where we are right now, getting Zach back with full contact and David is going to try to do a little bit in practice and then getting Niko back on the floor with us is a very important step. As far as what he can provide on the floor, he’s had some really good moments in this league and given us some great production. Getting him back out here is certainly a step in the right direction. The plan is for him to do some contact and see how he responds and then put a plan together from there.”
KC Johnson: Nikola Mirotic is practicing today, won’t address reporters.
Vincent Goodwill: Fred Hoiberg said Mirotic won’t play tomorrow but will make the trip to Denver later this week
There was, however, progress. Coach Fred Hoiberg said Mirotic continued to ‘‘ramp up his activity’’ and was doing a better job of communicating with his other teammates. ‘‘Niko had a really good week of workouts,’’ Hoiberg said. ‘‘He’s continuing to ramp up his activity. He had good strength workouts and he’s increasing his workload on the floor, so we’re hoping to get him back with the team shortly.’’
KC Johnson: Hoiberg: Mirotic won’t travel on 4-game trip that starts Sunday in Phoenix.
Fred Hoiberg said it hasn’t yet been determined whether Nikola Mirotic will travel on the Bulls’ four-game trip that begins Sunday in Phoenix. What is settled is who will be the starting power forward when Mirotic is physically cleared to play. “I would say Lauri (Markkanen) is our starter moving forward,” Hoiberg said.
KC Johnson: Pax: “Both Niko and Bobby are on our roster right now. And Niko’s getting cleared to do more and more. This obviously is coming to a position where it’s going to have to be resolved between the two.” Reminder: Mirotic can’t be traded until Jan. 15.
KC Johnson: Bulls initially said Mirotic would miss 4-6 weeks. Tomorrow is 4 weeks. Pax: “The timeline for him getting back is all how he’s feeling and recovering from what he went through. He obviously has to get his conditioning up to a level that he needs to. That’s all a process.”
Vincent Goodwill: Nikola Mirotic is in the building. John Paxson said Niko hasn’t had contact with Bobby Portis, won’t say if the trade request has been rescinded
KC Johnson: Hoiberg said Mirotic did shooting for first time today.
Meanwhile, though he is free of his concussion symptoms, Nikola Mirotic remains weeks away from returning from the two facial fractures that Bobby Portis caused with a punch to the face during an Oct. 17 altercation between the forwards in practice. Mirotic remains upset enough over the disparity in time of absences that he has had little contact with teammates, and his camp has made clear to management that, for now, it doesn’t see a way the two forwards can coexist.
Hoiberg says Mirotic hasn’t done any on court work, but was able to do some rehab work in the pool recently. Hoiberg says Mirotic is in good spirits — it remains to be seen when he will work out with all his teammates again.
Mirotic has yet to change his stance on not wanting to play with Bobby Portis after Portis punched him in the face during an Oct. 17 practice altercation. That gave Mirotic a concussion, two facial fractures and a recovery period of up to two months.
Hoiberg wouldn’t answer whether he thinks, based on his conversations with Mirotic that included a phone call Friday, that he’s still upset with Portis. “It’s something we’re going to take it day-by-day,” Hoiberg said. “Hopefully, we’ll get a chance to see him (Saturday) and go from there. I know he’s going to continue to come in and get his treatment.”
KC Johnson: More Mirotic: Hoiberg talked to him by phone today after 3rd day of workouts. No more headaches after activity. Meets w/ doctor in 2 weeks.
KC Johnson: Hoiberg on Mirotic: “He said he’s watching all games and loves the effort guys are playing with. He’s been very positive in conversations.”
KC Johnson: Hoiberg said Mirotic timeline remains same even tho no surgery. It’s been 2 weeks. So another 2-4 at least.
Mike McGraw: Hoiberg said Nikola Mirotic will work out at Advocate Center today after team leaves for Miami. #Bulls pic.twitter.com/84bJtsTNY2
Vincent Goodwill: Nikola Mirotic has not been back to the facility for the supervised activity he’s been cleared for. Hoiberg said maybe Sunday or Monday
KC Johnson: Justin Holiday: Bobby came in, worked hard like he always does. I reached out to Niko too. Make sure he knows he’s supported.
Fred Hoiberg says he has texted with Niko Mirotic. He says Mirotic is still sore after sustaining injuries in fight with Portis. It remains unclear when Mirotic will be able to return to practice.
KC Johnson: Paxson said doctors feel surgery best but up to Niko.
KC Johnson: Bulls suspend Portis 8 games.
KC Johnson: Bulls say Portis can practice during suspension.
Josh Lewenberg: Dwane Casey on player fights when he was an assistant in Seattle… So, Gary Payton and…? “We had some doozies in Seattle, I’ll tell you what, some fisticuffs. One that started on the court and went in the weight room and went outside, come back in. It was a long one. I’ve seen those. The good thing about that, the people that were involved in that were able to come back together and bond back together, which is the hard part. You can’t let what happened yesterday come into tomorrow or next week or next month or hold it inside. That’s the trick and luckily in Seattle we had some of those but guys were able to get back together and maintain the team chemistry.”
Chicago Bulls: “We anticipate Niko being out 4-6 weeks, but needs to clear concussion protocol.” – John Paxson
KC Johnson: Bulls say exec VP John Paxson will address reporters, then Fred Hoiberg & Robin Lopez. Portis not at practice facility. Suspension imminent.
KC Johnson: But internal view is incident involved blame on both sides. Situation escalated over several possessions during scrimmage. 2/2
KC Johnson: As reported yesterday, Portis will be suspended after Bulls conclude standard policy of communication with league office. What factor this plays in suspension is unknown & obviously can’t throw punch. But Portis widely regarded for work ethic, commitment to team.
A source who spoke to Mirotic after he was released from the hospital said the forward suffered two fractures and placed an early estimate for his absence at “a few weeks, at least.” He possibly will have to wear a mask upon that return.
In their statement, the Bulls said they are “evaluating disciplinary action.” But a source said the team is merely following protocol for all such incidents by communicating with the league office and that Portis will be suspended for multiple games.
According to several witnesses, tensions heightened between Portis and Mirotic during a competitive scrimmage. Several words were exchanged over trips up and down the court. Some shoving escalated matters and Mirotic once moved in Portis’ direction. And then Portis landed the lone punch, which placed Mirotic on the ground for several minutes before his hospital trip.
Vincent Goodwill: Mirotic does have a concussion and broken bones in his face. Expect Bobby Portis’ suspension to be significant
Mike McGraw: #Bulls confirm Portis-Mirotic altercation at today’s practice; said Mirotic suffered concussion and maxillary fractures, out indefinitely.
Jeff Zillgitt: Re: Mirotic-Portis altercation, it was two guys fighting for position that turned into altercation, I’m told.
Vincent Goodwill: This has been three years in the making, a source said. Mirotic has broken bones in his face, apparently instigated, and Portis punched him
Darnell Mayberry: Mirotic is out indefinitely…Bulls are evaluating disciplinary action. Suspension for Ports likely. Hearing league office is now involved.
KC Johnson: Mirotic is home after going to hospital. He has 2 broken bones in his face and was evaluated for concussion, per source. Punched by Portis.
KC Johnson: Early estimate on Mirotic absence: “A few weeks,” source said.
Vincent Goodwill: Apparently there was some pushing and shoving and Mirotic was punched by Portis. Mirotic is being evaluated for a concussion
Shams Charania: Sources: Bulls forwards Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic were involved in serious altercation in practice today, leaving Mirotic hospitalized and out indefinitely. Story coming.
Mirotic was taken to the hospital Tuesday after their shoving altercation during practice ended with an alleged cheap shot from Portis to Mirotic’s face, league sources told The Vertical. Mirotic is undergoing tests, but is expected to be out for the foreseeable future, league sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: In practice scuffle with Bobby Portis in Bulls practice, Nikola Mirotic suffered a fractured bone in his face, league source tells ESPN.
KC Johnson: Bulls PR said Nikola Mirotic is out for rest of game with sprained left ankle.
Mike McGraw: Today’s recap: Wade (illness, wrist) is not at arena. Butler & Mirotic expected to play; Zipser (ankle) out. #Bulls
Mike McGraw: Jimmy Butler won’t play today at Minnesota. Nikola Mirotic out with back spasms. #Bulls
Chuck Swirsky: @threekola congratulations on the win. Hope you’re ok. Nikola Mirotic: @ctsbulls Thanks Chuck. I’m good , it’s just a strong hit on the knee.
Nikola Mirotic helped Spain get off to a strong start with eight points in the first quarter. He injured his right knee in a collision with Aron Baynes early in the fourth, but returned after a brief stint on the bench and finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. Afterward, Mirotic said the initial injury scared him “a lot,” saying the collision was “very strong, knees against knees.”
“But it was the last five minutes of the tournament,” he continued. “I didn’t want to miss that opportunity to play. I was hot in that moment too, so I didn’t feel a lot of pain. Right now, I’m feeling hurt. But it’s OK. We won the medal. That’s the most important thing. Hopefully, this is nothing. I need to do some tests now and I expect it’s all good.”
Mike McGraw: #Bulls are listing Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson (hamstring) as questionable for Sat vs. HOU. Nikola Mirotic upgraded from out to doubtful.
KC Johnson: Nikola Mirotic still 1-2 weeks away, per Hoiberg.
If Mirotic had questions about why he needed a second surgery in early February to remove a hematoma after his Jan. 27 appendectomy, they had to wait. “There was not too much time to explain,” Mirotic said Wednesday in his first public comments since the procedures. “I was really in pain with a high fever. They made me go straight to the surgery room. When I awakened, they explained what happened to me. I was a little bit confused and scared about the situation. But life is like this. You never know.”
“They say in 30 years, (complications) never happened to nobody, just me. I’m the first one. It was maybe bad luck,” Mirotic said of comments the surgeon relayed to him. “It was no one’s mistake. It just could happen. I’m trying to forget that and focus on my recovery.”
KC Johnson: Hoiberg said Mirotic gets stitches out today but is “still in a lot of pain” Lost 15 pounds. No timeline but he’s out weeks, not days.
“He’s still in the hospital,” Hoiberg said. “He developed a hematoma, which is a collection of blood, that he had to go back in and have a second surgery to remove. He’s on a liquid diet right now. He’s in quite a bit of pain, but his spirits are OK. Hopefully he’ll get out of the hospital soon and just get him back. As far as a timetable for Niko to get back on the floor, we just don’t know yet. But he had the complication, got it fixed. Hopefully we’ll get him back soon.”
“It’s still too early to tell,” Hoiberg said, when asked about the post-All-Star break timeline. “We’ll have a better idea once Niko gets out of the hospital and just gradually have to get his strength back. Hopefully he’ll be out in the next day or two, out of the hospital. Hopefully Niko will recover quickly from it, but you got to be careful any time you’re dealing with surgery. Not just one, but two, you got to be a little bit careful.”
Nikola Mirotic: Thanks for all your strong support and reaching out with positivity, prayers and love. Surgery went well yesterday! Hope I will have fast recovery and be ready for next challenges. Miss my team and feel bad that I can’t be there tonight! Go Bulls! pic.twitter.com/SdHQ8hU9F5
Nick Friedell: Bulls release says Nikola Mirotic has an appendicitis and did not travel with the Bulls to LA.
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December 17, 2017 | 6:22 pm EST Update
Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler’s sore back kept him out of most of practice Sunday and could keep him out of Monday’s game against Portland at Target Center. “He didn’t do much today,’’ Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said after Sunday’s short practice. “Just getting treatment. We’ll see how he is [Monday].” The Timberwolves officially listed Butler as questionable with back spasms.
Josh Lewenberg: Raptors improve to 11-1 at home (NBA best) and 6-1 during this stretch of 8 straight games vs teams with losing records. They close it out in Charlotte on Wednesday before their home-and-home with Philly.
Daryl Morey: Steve Jobs:”It doesnt make sense to hire smart people&tell them what to do;we hire smart people to tell us what to do. Over the years we learned if we ask people to rely on logic&common sense instead of formal policies,most of the time we would get better results,&at lower cost.”