Lauri Markkanen suffered an injury to his right elbow on Thursday. At the time, we were told the injury was “considered minor”. Not exactly. Markkanen has been diagnosed with a “high grade lateral elbow sprain” and will miss six-to-eight weeks.
INJURY UPDATE: Lauri Markkanen sustained a right elbow injury in practice yesterday. He underwent an MRI today that showed a high grade lateral elbow sprain. Markkanen is estimated to be out six-to-eight weeks. pic.twitter.com/lwSdKvKIiS— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) September 29, 2018
The timeline means Markkanen will miss anywhere from 12-18 games. At worst, he should be back around the start of December.
This is a tough blow for Markkanen, who everyone is excited about entering year two. It will be fascinating to see how the Bulls shuffle lineups in his absence. Will the Bulls run with Jabari Parker at the four? Or will they keep Parker slotted in at small forward and promote Bobby Portis to the starting lineup?
Personally, I’d prefer to get Parker off to a hot start by putting him at the four, which has proven to be his best position. Portis’ skill set and gunner mentality works best off the bench, even as he plays for a new contract this season.
This isn’t the first injury of training camp. Denzel Valentine also has a bum ankle, which will keep him out a week, at minimum. Wendell Carter Jr. was also injured in the same practice, suffering a left shoulder sprain. We have yet to hear the extent of Carter’s injury.
This is all a huge bummer. Get well soon, Finnish Prince.