Bulls Suspend Bobby Portis Eight Games After Scuffle with Nikola Mirotic

Bulls Suspend Bobby Portis Eight Games After Scuffle with Nikola Mirotic

Chicago Bulls forward Bobby Portis has been suspended for eight games after striking teammate Nikola Mirotic in the face at the end of Tuesday night's team practice, according to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune.

The Bulls noted in their official news release that surgery is likely required for Mirotic and so have the doctors, according to Paxson.

Portis and Mirotic were involved in a "serious altercation" at practice on Tuesday that eventually sent the latter to the hospital.

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The Bulls announced afterward that Mirotic, who signed a two-year, $27 million contract over the offseason, suffered a concussion and facial fractures. Bulls' executive VP John Paxson says Mirotić will be out for four to six weeks, "but needs to clear concussion protocol". Rookie Lauri Markkanen will start at power forward with Portis and Mirotic unavailable. "He's a good kid".

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Mirotic stayed on the ground for several minutes following the punch before getting up.

Paxson said that the Bulls got counsel from the league on how to handle the situation. He averaged seven points and 5.4 rebounds in 17.8 minutes per game, shooting 42.7 percent from the floor, 30.8 percent from 3 and 72.7 percent from the free-throw line. Chicago opens the 2017-18 season Thursday with a road game against the Toronto Raptors. The 26-year-old Mirotic is Chicago's top returning scorer from a season ago.

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