While there may have been a sliver of hope that Otto Porter could return to the court soon, head coach Billy Donovan didn’t offer the most encouraging update.
When asked by NBC Sports Chicago’s Rob Schaefer about Porter’s health, Donovan said that he does not know when the veteran forward will be able to return and that he continues to work with the medical staff to ensure a complete recovery from his lingering back issue.
“We’re still trying to do everything we can to help him get back, to strengthen that back, to get him feeling good so this isn’t a recurring issue for him. I really don’t have a timeline of when that’s going to be. I’d say he’s gotten better and he’s improving, but not nearly to the point or to the level where maybe he can go back to the level he was playing at before this happened.”
The Bulls initially said that Porter would be out until at least this week, and while Donovan’s comments don’t necessarily go against that belief, it does appear as though a return to action sometime over the next six days is unlikely. The Bulls are clearly taking things slow with the recently injury-prone Porter, with hopes that once he does return, he can last the duration of the season.
In the meantime, Donovan also shared that one of Porter’s back-up options will also remain unavailable indefinitely.
“Chandler Hutchison right now is dealing with some personal issues, so he is out … I can’t really talk anymore about it. The conversations I’ve had with him have been terrific. He’s handled himself like a complete pro, but right now there are some things he needs to focus on personally, and that’s where his attention is at. I don’t know how long he’ll be out.”
Donovan said that Hutchison will be on the sideline with the team, but he will not active “for some time.” Whatever the Bulls third-year forward is going through, it certainly sounds serious. I wish him nothing but the best.
Check out the full press conference here:
LIVE: Head Coach Billy Donovan media availability prior to tonight’s game against the Wizards https://t.co/JRPYWBwufJ
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) February 8, 2021