Nikola Vucevic set to return for Bulls

After being sidelined for the Bulls’ last seven games, center Nikola Vucevic will return to action on Wednesday night in Houston, tweets Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Vucevic tested positive for COVID-19 two weeks ago and was in the NBA’s health and safety protocols up until this week. Although he has been cleared to play, he’ll be on a minutes limit Wednesday, per Cowley.

Vucevic got off to a slow start this season, averaging just 13.6 PPG on 39.5% shooting in 11 games (34.2 MPG). However, he has contributed 10.9 RPG and a career-best 4.3 APG and played a key role in Chicago’s hot start.

The Bulls are 8-3 with Vucevic in the lineup and have gone 4-3 without him. The big man has also been part of many of Chicago’s best defensive lineups — the club’s defensive rating is 101.1 when he plays compared to 106.2 when he sits.

Meanwhile, Bulls guard Alex Caruso had initially been considered a game-time decision for Wednesday due to a left wrist contusion, according to Cowley (Twitter link). However, he has been listed as available on the team’s latest injury report.

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