Bulls preparing for possibility of losing Kris Dunn for rest of season


Wendell Carter Jr. said over All-Star weekend that he hopes to return from his sprained right ankle on Thursday as the Bulls begin a four-game homestand starting with the Hornets.

The injury news isn't expected to be as good for Kris Dunn.

The Bulls haven't officially updated Dunn's status since Feb. 4 when they said the guard's sprained right MCL would be re-examined in two weeks. But sources said there's growing belief that Dunn will miss the remainder of the season with the injury, which occurred when Thaddeus Young took a charge and inadvertently crashed into Dunn's knee on the first possession of a Jan. 31 road game against the Nets.

When Dunn suffered a similar injury last season, he missed 23 games. Dunn missed the final four games before the All-Star break, and the Bulls have 27 more beginning with the four-game homestand.

"Dunn still has some swelling in that knee," coach Jim Boylen said before the Bulls lost to the Wizards on Feb. 11 in Washington, their final game before the break. "Once his swelling goes down, he will get re-scanned and re-evaluated.  But he had a lot of swelling."

The plan heading into the All-Star break was to have Carter practice on Tuesday. He has been sidelined since Jan. 6.

On Feb. 6, executive vice president John Paxson expressed hope that Carter, Otto Porter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen would return by the end of the month or in early March to have time to evaluate the majority of what management has identified as the core. Porter has played just nine games all season after suffering a small fracture in his left foot. The Bulls sat Markkanen down after the Jan. 22 game against the Timberwolves with an early stress reaction in his right pelvis.

"They're moving forward and seem to be advancing a little bit every day," Boylen said before the Wizards game of the other injured players.

Before his knee injury, Dunn was one of four Bulls to play in every game, joining Zach LaVine, Tomas Satoransky and Coby White. He had drawn raves for his defensive play and role acceptance and ranks second in the NBA in steals.

Dunn will be a restricted free agent this summer.

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