Lauri Markkanen wanted to play vs. Blazers, planned individual workout
The Chicago Bulls played the Portland Trail Blazers last night without one of their best players in Lauri Markkanen.
The second year sharpshooter experienced rapid heart beat and fatigue after their loss against the Toronto Raptors last Wednesday. He was sent to a local medical facility for some tests. He returned to Chicago last night and underwent additional tests which all came back normal.
Markkanen then expressed his desire to play against the Blazers last night, but was not allowed by the team.
Jim Boylen said Lauri Markkanen was expressing desire to play last night as late as 2 pm Weds. Markkanen told people he planned individual workout on day off today. Point is: Markkanen is upbeat after initial battery of tests. Bulls will continue to monitor/additional testing.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) March 28, 2019
The Blazers went on to beat the Bulls 118-108, and it was announced that Markkanen will miss the remainder of the season so the team can closely monitor his heart condition.
In an interview with Chicago Tribune’s KC Johnson, Bulls’ executive vice president John Paxson said that the decision to shut down Markkanen was ensure that he will be healthy long-term.
“The long-term health of our players is always our organization’s top priority. We will continue to monitor Lauri’s condition and work with our medical staff and doctors to provide him with everything he may need.”
Bulls coach Jim Boylen is optimistic that Markkanen will just be fine, but also reiterated that shutting down Markkanen was for the youngster’s own good.
“Everything that he has had done to him in the last 24 hours has come back positive. I think the word is ‘unremarkable,’. But speaking with John and Jerry and Michael (Reinsdorf), we just want to do what’s best for him. We’re going to be as cautious as we can. And we’re not going to rush him back.
“Obviously, we’re disappointed for him and for us. But we’re hopeful he’ll be just fine.”
The Bulls management believe that what happened to Markkanen during the game against the Raptors was just an isolated episode, but further tests should give them additional information about his condition. Further updates are expected to be released soon.