CHICAGO – It has been a tough 28 hours for the Bulls and an even rougher one of their best young player.
Because of that, Lauri Markkanen won’t be on the floor for the Bulls for the remainder of the season.
Following what the team described as “an episode of a rapid heart rate and fatigue” against the Raptors on Tuesday night, they officially shut down the forward for the final six games of the year late Wednesday night. That announcement followed their 118-98 loss to the Blazers at the United Center, one in which Markkanen didn’t participate.
The second-year player had stayed back after the game in Toronto for further tests and flew back to Chicago on Wednesday. While the exams so far have been normal, per the team, additional testing has been ordered for the next 10-14 days, which takes up the time for the rest of the regular season.
“The long-term health of our players is always our organization’s top priority,” said Bulls executive vice president John Paxson in a statement through the team. “We will continue to monitor Lauri’s condition and work with our medical staff and doctors to provide him with everything he may need.”
This concludes the second season for Markkanen in the Bulls uniform, with the beginning and the end being marred by injury along with illness. The forward missed the first month-and-a-half of the season with an elbow injury, not making his debut with the team until December 1st.
He finished the season with 18.7 points per game along with nine rebounds a contest, and once again earned a nomination to the NBA’s Rising Stars Challenge during All-Star Weekend in Charlotte back in February.