Lauri Markkanen's Availability for Thursday Is Up in the Air, Wizards Will Get Back Key Player (UPDATE: Markkanen Did Not Practice)

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Lauri Markkanen’s Availability for Thursday Is Up in the Air, Wizards Will Get Back Key Player (UPDATE: Markkanen Did Not Practice)

Chicago Bulls

Despite suffering a calf contusion at the end of Sunday night’s matchup with the Warriors, Lauri Markkanen gave things a go in last night’s game against the Wizards.

The big man looked unbothered by his minor injury throughout the beginning portion of the game, scoring 9 points and hauling in 4 rebounds in 19 minutes of action. However, he was the one who apparently decided to end his night early after re-aggravating his calf, and now it seems his status for Thursday night’s second game against Washington is (once again) up in the air.

The Bulls will hopefully get a better read on Markkanen’s status sometime today. But considering he tried to give it a go on Wednesday, only to exit the game with more discomfort, I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Bulls opt to rest him for one game. If that is the case, however, I will be a bit concerned about the Bulls chances to pull off another W on Thursday. While the team faired decently with him on the bench, he has still been one of their most consistent and aggressive players to start the season.

Plus, it doesn’t help that the Wizards might get back their own young, electric power forward. According to NBC Sports Washington’s Chris Miller, Rui Hachimura plans to see his first action of the season tomorrow after missing the team’s first four games with an eye infection.

If Markkanen is not giving the all-clear before tomorrow night’s game, I would expect to see the Bulls finally give veteran forward Thaddeus Young some court time, who was finally listed as active on Tuesday for the first time this season after suffering a left leg infection.

UPDATE (2:44): According to NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson, Lauri Markkanen did not practice with the team on Wednesday.

What this means for his availability tomorrow is unclear, but it certainly makes it feel less likely that he suits up for the Bulls second matchup against the Wizards. As written above, if he can’t take the floor, I would expect to see Thaddeus Young on the floor, as well as Otto Porter or Patrick Williams sliding over to the four. Markkanen has also been eating plenty of minutes at center with the second unit thus far, so his absence would probably open the door for more Daniel Gafford.

Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.