Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen is moving closer to his season debut after spraining his right elbow in September.
Markkanen has been cleared to "fully participate in practice" on Tuesday, coach Fred Hoiberg said. If that goes well, a timeline for Markkanen's return could come into focus.
"He's passed every hurdle that he's had, as far as being medically cleared and going out and doing the individual workouts, having a controlled contact 2-on-2 session and then yesterday coming and going full-court 2-on-2 with some of our players," Hoiberg said before Monday night's game against San Antonio.
"He felt good this morning and then went through shoot-around and tomorrow will be the next test to see if he's ready."
The 7-foot Markkanen is perhaps the centerpiece of Chicago's rebuilding plan, so the Bulls are looking forward to getting him back on the court. He was selected by Minnesota with the No. 7 pick in last year's draft and then traded to Chicago in the Jimmy Butler deal. He averaged 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds in 68 games as a rookie.
"It's going to be a day-by-day situation," Hoiberg said. "If he has soreness, obviously we'll scale it back. But hopefully he feels great and keeps making progress and we can get him out on the floor soon."
Hoiberg said the plan is to have Markkanen travel with the team on its upcoming four-game trip.
Chris Paul sidelined
Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul was out for Monday night's game against the Washington Wizards with a sore left leg.
It's the second consecutive game Paul has missed. He sat out Saturday's game in Cleveland after playing 37 minutes in an overtime win in Detroit the night before. The Rockets said he was being rested against the Cavaliers.
"We've just got to make sure Chris is 100 percent well from his strained hammy," Houston coach Mike D'Antoni said.
D'Antoni said Paul was day-to-day. Gerald Green was also out for the third straight game with a sore right ankle.
Washington's Dwight Howard was out for the fourth straight game with a sore glute.