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Bulls coach Jim Boylen says Lauri Markkanen is still trying to get comfortable after elbow injury

Lauri Markkanen, Bulls, Jim Boylen

Chicago Bulls head coach Jim Boylen says it’s still going to take some time for second-year power forward Lauri Markkanen to fully recover from the right elbow injury he suffered in training camp.

Markkanen missed the first 24 games of the season, but has played in 18 consecutive games since returning to the lineup on Dec. 1 against the Houston Rockets.

Jim Boylen says the injury Lauri Markkanen sustained was a serious and painful one.

“In fairness to him, it’s safe to say that thing isn’t 100 percent yet,” Boylen said, via Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. “Is it close? Yeah.

“It’s gotta stick in his mind. That was a very serious injury, and maybe what people don’t realize is that is a very painful injury. Yeah, it’s going to take some time.’’

In 18 games this season for the Bulls, Lauri Markkanen is averaging 17.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. The 21-year-old is shooting 43.3 percent from the field, 39.3 percent from beyond the arc and 81.0 percent from the free-throw line.

Elbow injuries are tough to deal with. Markkanen should be commended for how well he has played since coming back. The good news is Markkanen’s elbow will only get stronger as the season moves along.

Chicago is 10-31 on the year, 13th place in the Eastern Conference standings. The team has lost five games in a row and is just 5-12 since Boylen took over for Fred Hoiberg on Dec. 3.