Bulls’ fans just received the news they were hoping to avoid.
Jim Boylen told reporters Friday afternoon that Otto Porter Jr. will be out for tomorrow night’s contest against the Houston Rockets with a left foot sprain. Even more discouraging, Boylen couldn’t offer any timetable for his return. NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson shared that it’s a soft tissue injury for Porter, making it hard to determine an exact timeframe for when he’ll be back up to speed.
Before the announcement, Daily Herald reporter Mike McGraw tweeted that Porter was walking around the Bulls practice facility in crutches. So, yeah … I guess you could say things aren’t looking great.
With Porter out of the lineup, Chandler Hutchison will be set to start for the Bulls. The added minutes will be a tall ask for a second-year player who appeared in only 44 games last season. Not to mention, Hutchison is also working his way back from a hamstring injury suffered in voluntary workouts this offseason, which kept him off the court for the entirety of the preseason and inactive for the Bulls first six games.
Available to return against the Indiana Pacers, Hutchison remained on the bench until the following game where he made his season debut against the Los Angeles Lakers. Through two games, he’s scored a combined 14 points with seven rebounds, and (fortunately) he’s looked decent getting to the free-throw line and helping on the defensive end.
Still, Hutchison is far from a reliable starting substitute. Porter has picked up steam over these games after a lackluster start. He scored a quick 13 points (FG 5-6, 3PT 3-4) in roughly 12 minutes of action during the Bulls win over the Atlanta Hawks.
One of the team’s best all-around players, Hutchison has some big shoes to fill.