The Chicago Bulls, led by the ever-consistent DeMar DeRozan and the smoldering hot Zach LaVine, have played incredibly well ever since rumors of discord in the locker room spread following their halftime blowup in mid-December. They have gone 8-3 since, and are now the ninth seed in the Eastern Conference, good enough for a play-in spot if the season ended today. And that was with defensive stalwart Alex Caruso missing five of their past 11 games due to injury, the most recent of which was to his ankle.

However, the Bald Eagle appears to be on the cusp of making his return for the Bulls to help their playoff push even further.

According to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, Alex Caruso is “planning” on playing during the Bulls’ Monday night contest against the Eastern Conference-leading Boston Celtics.

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Caruso suffered an ankle injury during the Bulls’ rousing 121-112 victory over the Brooklyn Nets this past Wednesday after playing in only three minutes. As a result, Caruso has missed the Bulls’ past two games – both victories – against the Philadelphia 76ers and Utah Jazz.

In Alex Caruso’s absence, the Bulls relied more heavily on Coby White to fill in some backcourt minutes alongside Zach LaVine. White can score the ball and create shots both for himself and for others, but Caruso remains a more seamless fit alongside his more scoring-inclined teammates.

Caruso hasn’t had the smoothest two-year stint with the Bulls. He missed a lot of games last season with a wrist injury, while this season, he has dealt with ankle, back, and shoulder injuries. In 34 games this season, the Bald Eagle is averaging 5.2 points, 3.4 dimes, and 1.6 steals in 24.1 minutes per night, and his eventual return should fortify the Bulls’ bottom-10 defense (in terms of points allowed per 100 possessions).