After missing the first 23 games of the season, Lauri Markkanen is expected to debut for the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night against the Houston Rockets, the team announced.
The Finnish forward has been sidelined since late September with a right elbow sprain, delaying him from building on a strong rookie season in which he averaged 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds per game.
The Bulls sure can use him. Chicago is 5-18 this season, ranking 20th in the NBA in 3-point percentage and dead last in offensive rating.
Last season, Markkanen became the fastest player in the NBA history to make 100 career 3s. The former Arizona Wildcat was also the first rookie in Bulls history to post at least 1,000 points and 500 rebounds since Elton Brand in 2000.
Our friends at Blog A Bull took an in-depth look at what to expect from Markkanen as he returns from injury.
While Markkanen has not played this season, he has still managed to grab headlines. He partnered with Finnish renewable-energy company Neste to help fight against climate change, and has stopped eating red meat in order to minimize his carbon footprint.
Here is his video promoting the #Don’tChoke campaign:
Markkanen also poked fun at President Donald Trump, who said California should rake its forests like Finland in order to help prevent the wildfires that have been ravaging the state lately. (On a serious note, Markkanen urged people to donate to the Red Cross to help those affected by the fires):
Anybody need their floors raked? #FinnishRakingSeason pic.twitter.com/RmhnqtJX6R— Lauri Markkanen (@MarkkanenLauri) November 19, 2018