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Zach LaVine, Nikola Mirotic to practice with G League affiliate

LaVine's return date pushed back to late December

From NBA media reports

Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic and guard Zach LaVine are each working their way back from injury. To reach the next step in their recovery, the duo will take trip to the G League for some extra work with the Bulls’ club, the Windy City Bulls.

Mirotic has been out all season after sustaining facial injuries in a scuffle with teammate Bobby Portis a month ago. LaVine hasn’t played since last season, as a knee injury ended his 2016-17 campaign prematurely.

Mirotic practiced with the Bulls for the first time yesterday and will attend tonight’s game against the Phoenix Suns ((8 ET, NBA League Pass) but will not travel with the team to Denver for Thursday’s game (9 ET, NBA League Pass). As for LaVine, the plans for him to come back in mid-December have been pushed back as well.

K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune has more on what’s next for the duo:

“The plan right now is we’re going to actually practice them with the Windy City team,” coach Fred Hoiberg said. “We’ll have them come to the Advocate Center and get a couple really good solid hard practices in with them. That’s important for those guys right now. We just don’t have a lot of practice time with all the games we’re playing on top of each other. So we’ll utilize the Windy City situation as much as possible. They should be able to get quality workouts.

“(Windy City) plays tonight and has a full week off where we can send those guys down to get some good high quality workouts.”

Hoiberg admitted it’s now more realistic LaVine doesn’t make his season debut after ACL surgery until late December.

“He’s had three really good days with us since he’s been cleared for full contact,” Hoiberg said. “It started out in San Francisco. He was able to play 3-on-3. Then he came back and had a really good 1-on-1 session. But when you get out there 5-on-5, you have to be in the right spots offensively and defensively. It’s a whole new thing for him. It’s not just about obviously getting the knee where it needs to be. I think everybody is comfortable with that. Now it’s about getting his timing and conditioning level to where it needs to be where he can go on the floor and not think, which is important in this as well.”

As part of his injury-rehab program, the San Antonio Spurs had star guard Tony Parker practice with their G League affiliate, the Austin Spurs.

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