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Bulls say Derrick Jones Jr. (knee) is expected to miss 2-4 weeks

Chicago's reserve forward suffered his injury vs. Brooklyn on Jan. 12.

Derrick Jones Jr. has been a key reserve for the East-leading Bulls this season.

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The Chicago Bulls will be without one of their key reserves as their chase for the Eastern Conference’s top seed heats up. Derrick Jones Jr. is expected to miss two to four weeks after sustaining a hyperextension injury to his right knee, the team announced.

The injury occurred early in the first quarter of Wednesday’s 138-112 home loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

Jones avoided structural damage to the knee, but an MRI confirmed “significant bone bruising.”

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported Jones Jr. will be out four to six weeks.

The Bulls acquired Jones in the offseason from the Portland Trail Blazers as part of a three-team trade that also involved the Cleveland Cavaliers. In that deal, the Bulls parted with former lottery pick Lauri Markkanen (who was signed and traded to Cleveland) in an effort to improve Chicago’s overall depth.

Jones is in the final year of his contract and has been solid off the bench for the Bulls, averaging 6.3 points and 3.4 rebounds in 17.2 minutes per game. He is hitting a career-best 40.5% of his 3-pointers in 2021-22 and shooting 58.2% overall (also a career high).

The Bulls are 27-12 and have a 1 1/2 game on the Nets for the East’s No. 1 seed. Chicago has a busy month ahead as it hosts the Golden State Warriors on Friday (7:30 ET, ESPN) and has nine of its next 20 games on the road. Over the next month, Chicago has road games against playoff and playoff-caliber teams such as Memphis, Milwaukee, Toronto, Philadelphia, Minnesota and Charlotte.