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Bulls' Mirotic eyeing season debut Friday vs. Hornets

Bulls' Mirotic eyeing season debut Friday vs. Hornets

Nikola Mirotic could make his season debut Friday against the Charlotte Hornets.

The Chicago Bulls power forward will play for the first time this campaign - on a minutes restriction - if he's able to participate fully in Thursday's practice and Friday's shootaround, according to head coach Fred Hoiberg, per The Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson.


Mirotic, 26, missed the first 23 games while dealing with a concussion and facial fractures suffered Oct. 17 when teammate Bobby Portis punched him in practice. Though it was reported Mirotic no longer wished to remain on the same team as Portis, he later accepted his teammate's apology and resolved to move on.


"I'm not angry at anyone," he said. "I'm doing fine with myself. My family is great. There's nothing to be angry about now. It's all over. It's a new beginning."


The fourth-year big man was dressed for Wednesday's loss to the Indiana Pacers, but didn't see the floor. He's "very excited" to play again when the opportunity arises, though he expects to be rusty.


"It's not going to be easy in the beginning," he said. "But I'm going to do my best and I'm sure my teammates will support me and hopefully the fans too."


Mirotic averaged 10.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.2 assists while shooting 40.9 percent from the field and 35 percent from long range in his first three seasons with the club.


Chicago has lost 10 straight games, and own the league's worst record at 3-20.