Bulls’ Nikola Vučević feels ‘pretty good’ in return from COVID-19

There aren’t many silver linings when you lose to a team with a 15-game losing streak.

But here’s one: Nikola Vučević felt strong enough to exceed his roughly 20-minute limit in his return to the Chicago Bulls after missing seven games following a positive test for COVID-19.

“I felt pretty good and obviously we were in a tough spot,” Vučević said via Zoom from Houston following the Bulls’ demoralizing defeat to the Rockets. “So I told (coach) Billy (Donovan) I can keep going.”

Vučević finished with 14 points, 13 rebounds and four assists before fouling out with 2 minutes, 46 seconds left. He had somewhat surprisingly returned with 6:21 remaining and the Bulls trailing by10 points. In that final stint before drawing his sixth foul, Vučević sank a 3-pointer and assisted Zach LaVine on a basket to help the Bulls trim their deficit to three points.

“I felt kind of how I thought I would. I felt obviously a little out of rhythm and just like I still need time to get back to 100 percent,” Vučević said. “But I felt I was able to impact the game and do some stuff to help the team.”

Overall, Vučević logged 26:03.

“Hopefully it won’t take too long before I get back to where I was,” he said. “It’s hard because I had to just lay around my house. I couldn’t work out or do anything at all. You do that for 10 days and…

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