The Chicago Bulls took a risk by signing Otto Porter Jr. during the 2019 trade deadline and it seems it might not have been their best decision. Porter Jr. has only managed to play 45 out of 124 possible games since then.
Despite a good start in 2021, Porter Jr. has not competed in the last 13 matches of the Bulls and is likely to be out of action longer, as revealed by the team’s head coach.
As reported by NBC Sports, Billy Donovan said the following when it came to Porter Jr.
He’s been able to do a lot more the last three days. He’s ramped up quite a bit where he’s running, doing conditioning, shooting. Still no contact, but I was on the court with him yesterday, and he’s just working to get himself back into shape. I think he’s made progress, he’s gotten better, and I think he’s certainly getting advice from the doctors. He’s meeting with them on a consistent basis.
Porter Jr. missed out on the team’s January 10th match against the LA Clippers due to “lingering back pain,” and had to be put on the shelf. Despite his back having recovered, his conditioning is what has everyone worried.
I think the biggest part is conditioning. He’s clearly way behind there. I don’t say that in a way it’s anybody’s fault, but he’s been limited in what he’s been able to do physically.
Donovan then added that Porter Jr. is likely to miss out the entirety of the All-Star break, which will take place from March 5th through the 10th.
Having a little less than a week before the All-Star break and then having just a week in that break he’s fully planning on working and getting himself close to ready as possible. I don’t have a date we are targeting to be honest with you, because he hasn’t been able to do too much….I think we’ll have a lot more clarity of where he is at physically coming out of the break because he will have some real opportunity to get some work in.
We will have to see when Porter Jr. will be able to make a full-time return to the Chicago Bulls, as the team sorely needs him.