Patrick Williams of the Chicago Bulls will return against the Toronto Raptors
Chicago Bulls forward Patrick Williams will return Monday night against the Toronto Raptors to play his first game since undergoing wrist surgery in October, the team announced Sunday.
Williams, the No. 4 pick in the 2020 NBA draft, hasn’t played since Oct. 28, when he tore ligaments in his left wrist in Game 5 of the season.
Although he started the season in the starting lineup, Williams is expected to return in a reserve role with a minutes restriction.
“He’s looking forward to coming back,” Bulls coach Billy Donovan said Friday. “Physically he feels good. He knows the timing is going to take a bit of time. But I think just how he feels and where he is mentally, he wants to come back and play.”
Williams, 20, had a promising rookie season as one of the youngest players in his draft class, but his sophomore season hasn’t really taken off. He averaged 6.6 points on 56.5 percent shooting and 2.2 rebounds in five games before tearing ligaments in his wrist when he fell on a flagrant foul by Mitchell Robinson of the New York Knicks.
While the Bulls went on a three-game road trip to the West Coast last week, Williams stayed in Chicago to train with the G League-affiliated Windy City Bulls. Donovan said reports were encouraging of Williams’ conditioning, but his timing was off after being sidelined for five months.
The Bulls are back-to-back on Monday and Tuesday, and Donovan said it’s possible Williams could play in both games.
Williams’ return comes as the Bulls are on a three-game losing streak and have lost eight of their last 10 games. They started Sunday fifth in the Eastern Conference.
“He makes our team better,” Donovan told reporters. “He will probably struggle to find a rhythm. With Patrick, the most important thing will be how he fits into a rotation and what a realistic number of minutes looks like for him.”
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