Bulls Expecting Porter's Absence To Be 'Weeks'

Otto Porter Jr. is dealing with a left foot sprain.

Cody Westerlund
November 16, 2019 - 3:54 pm

CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- While a timeline for Bulls forward Otto Porter Jr.'s return from a left foot sprain remains fuzzy, coach Jim Boylen mentioned Saturday the expectation is the recovery will take "weeks."

"Otto's is a slow. meticulous process," Boylen said before the Bulls hosted the Nets at the United Center. "As symptoms subside, he gets better. Some days those symptoms are less, and some days they are the same as the day before. So that's where that's at."

Asked if he felt the recovery timeline should be talked about in terms of "months" instead of "weeks," Boylen didn't think so.

"I don't think it's months," Boylen said. "I think it's weeks. He's working at it. He's trying. Again, this is a tough one. It's not a definitive thing. I'm sorry I don't have more answers for everyone. We're just trying to do the best we can with it."

Porter, 26, will miss his fourth straight game Saturday, and the Bulls had previously called it an indefinite timetable for his return. Porter hasn't played since Nov. 6.

"I have not heard one iota of surgery," Boylen said.

Porter dealt with some nagging injuries in seasons past, including a shoulder strain that sidelined him for the final 11 games of last season. Porter also dealt with knee and neck ailments last season and had surgery on his left leg in April 2018 to address what the Wizards called compartment syndrome.

Wary of Porter's injury history and their lack of depth at wing, the Bulls met with him near the end of last season and again in training camp to formulate a plan for his workload. They settled on roughly a 30-minute limit for him and the possibility of him resting on one end of back-to-back sets. Porter was just over or under the 30-minute mark in each of his first nine games, and he did play in both ends of the Bulls' first two back-to-backs.

Porter had struggled quite a bit early, averaging 11.2 on 41.7 percent shooting in nine games. Second-year forward Chandler Hutchison has been starting in his place.

"It's just takes time to settle down," Boylen said of Porter's foot inflammation. "He's doing everything he can to stay in shape. He's in the hydro-works. He's on the bike. I see him sweating all over the building, so he's trying."

Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for 670TheScore.com and covers the Bulls. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.