Nearly four weeks since his last game for the Chicago Bulls, uncertainty lingers for power forward Javonte Green.
Two weeks after undergoing an arthroscopic debridement to address lingering issues from a bone bruise in his right knee, Green has not returned to running or jumping. Coach Billy Donovan said Thursday that Green could require one to two more weeks of recovery before progressing beyond noncontact activities such as riding a stationary bike.
Donovan added that the Bulls do not have a timeline for Green’s expected return — to contact activities or games.
“We’ll have a much better feel once he can get started,” Donovan said before the Bulls played the Charlotte Hornets. “Once he starts moving, I think we’ll get a much better feel of how he responds to that.”
This is a hauntingly familiar refrain for Bulls fans, who have spent more than a year awaiting the return of point guard Lonzo Ball. Ball initially injured the MCL in his left knee — which required surgery on Jan. 20, 2021 — and his recovery was extended because of a bone bruise, then accompanied by pain in the following months.
Green hasn’t been fully available since Dec. 2. He returned for a pair of three-game stints before the Bulls determined he required the debridement procedure, which he underwent Jan. 11.
Unlike Ball, Donovan said Green’s recovery is continuing as expected.
“Everything has gone according to schedule,” Donovan said. “He’s been fine. There’s been no setbacks, and I wouldn’t anticipate any of that.”
Green was unable to travel to Paris for the Bulls’ game against the Detroit Pistons on Jan. 19 because of the four-day proximity between his surgery and the team’s departure. But he joined the Bulls on the road this week, catching rebounds and making passes during shootaround Thursday in Charlotte, N.C., while his teammates jokingly referred to him as “Coach Green.”
Goran Dragić plans to meet the Bulls in Orlando, Fla.
Donovan said Dragić will join the Bulls on Friday in Orlando after the backup guard missed the first two games of the three-game trip with a non-COVID illness.
Dragić has been unavailable for the Bulls since the team returned from Paris. Donovan said Dragić was able to work out for several days in Chicago ahead of flying to Orlando on Friday. His return will help to ease a depleted bench with Green unavailable.