Bulls' Lauri Markkanen to Miss 4-6 Weeks Because of Pelvic Injury

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJanuary 24, 2020

Chicago Bulls' Lauri Markkanen during an NBA basketball game Friday, March 15, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

The Chicago Bulls announced Friday that forward Lauri Markkanen is expected to miss four-to-six weeks after suffering a stress reaction to his right pelvis. 

In 46 games this season, Markkanen is averaging 15.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists, while shooting 42.4 percent from the field. He ranks second on the team in both points and rebounds this season.

Last year, Markkanen averaged 18.7 points on 43.0 percent shooting and 9.0 rebounds in 52 games. He was particularly dominant over a one-month stretch from Feb. 2 to Mar. 1, averaging 26.5 points on 48.7 percent shooting and 12.6 rebounds per game.

However, injuries slowed down a promising year, forcing the 22-year-old off the court for 30 games.

The 7-footer suffered a right elbow sprain during a preseason practice and missed his team's first 23 contests.

Markkanen then enjoyed a run of good health up until late March, but he was pulled from his team's game against the Portland Trail Blazers after suffering a rapid heartbeat and fatigue. After further evaluations, the Bulls decided to sit him for the remainder of the regular season.

The seventh overall pick in the 2017 draft played 68 games during his rookie campaign, averaging 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. 

Without Markkanen, the 17-29 Bulls should turn to Thaddeus Young to fill the void. The 6'8", 235-pound 31-year-old is averaging 9.0 points and 4.5 rebounds in 22.4 minutes per game.

While Young will likely see the biggest minutes boost of anyone on the roster during Markkanen's absence, there will also be additional pressure on center Wendell Carter Jr. to provide an interior presence at both ends of the floor.

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