Bulls' Carter Eyeing Return To Action Out Of Break

Wendell Carter Jr. has been sidelined since Jan. 6 with an ankle sprain.

Cody Westerlund
February 14, 2020 - 6:01 pm

CHICAGO (670 The Score) -- Sidelined since Jan. 6 with a nasty right ankle sprain, Bulls center Wendell Carter Jr. is eyeing a return soon.

Carter hopes he can return to action in the Bulls' first game out of the All-Star break, which comes against the Hornets on Thursday. 

"I'm definitely feeling a lot better," Carter said. "I'm just continuously doing rehab and therapy on the ankle every day. I'm just trying to get it feeling right. I want to be back the next game. That's what I'm shooting for right now."

The Bulls are expected to practice Tuesday and Wednesday out of the All-Star break, and those days should bring further clarity on Carter's status. He was averaging 11.7 points, 9.9 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 30.0 minutes across 37 games before he suffered the injury.

When Carter returns, he hopes to be joined soon by Bulls forward Otto Porter Jr. (foot) and big man Lauri Markkanen (pelvis). The Bulls will need everyone healthy if they're to pull themselves out of the doldrums of their 19-36 mark at the All-Star break.

The Bulls are 6-12 since Carter went down.

"I feel like we can win just enough games to get into the playoffs," Carter said of a Bulls team sitting five games out of the eighth seed in the East.

Carter made his comments at the media session Friday morning for the Rising Stars Game, which he was selected for but won't play in because of his injury. Carter, 20, was still thrilled to receive the honor, and he believes there's better to come for him.

"I definitely think I'm on the right path to becoming an All-Star," Carter said. "When? I'm not sure, but I feel like the pace that I'm going at, my respect for the game, the way I play the game and how effective I am when I play, I feel like I'm on a pretty good path."

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