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Denzel Valentine to miss 2 weeks with sprained ankle

Not an ideal way to start a rookie campaign

NBA: Preseason-Milwaukee Bucks at Chicago Bulls Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Bulls rookie Denzel Valentine was one of the few bright spots in the team’s 93-91 loss in their preseason opener (the bar was quite low), so of course he suffered a sprained left ankle that knocked him out of the game in the second half after only 11 minutes of action (4 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound). Tuesday, Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg told reporters the rookie will miss two weeks with the injury.

While it’s good news that the sprain isn’t that serious, it’s never ideal when you start a rookie season with an injury. Sprained ankles can often be tricky as well, so hopefully this thing doesn’t linger and he’s able to return without any complications. Hoiberg said the Bulls are hoping he’ll be able to play at the end of the preseason.

If Hoiberg’s rotations in Monday’s game are any indication of things to come, Tony Snell will likely slide into Valentine’s spot for the time being. Snell showed a bit of a pulse against the Bucks and of course finished with one of the best +/- on the team, so he’ll likely get more of an opportunity to earn a larger role in this “big” season for him.

The Bulls’ next preseason game is Thursday against the Pacers.