His absence has signaled a return to the rotation for formerly benched guard Rajon Rondo, playing more than 20 minutes in both of the games that Butler missed.
Now, Butler is ready to return to the court for today’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans — but that won’t mean a return to the bench for Rondo.
Jimmy Butler, 10 pounds lighter, will be monitored tonight. Will play. Valentine will play. Mirotic out today/tomorrow. Wade out tomm
— Vincent Goodwill (@vgoodwill) January 14, 2017
Rondo will stay in the rotation
— Sean Highkin (@highkin) January 14, 2017
The Bulls’ rotation is still a little shortened by the absence of forward Nikola Mirotic, and a potential minutes limit for Butler who has lost ten pounds due to his illness.
Given that guard Dwyane Wade will rest for tomorrow’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies, it is possible Rondo could appear again. It’s unclear whether Rondo’s return to the rotation is permanent or temporary, or how it will affect Rondo’s previously expressed desire to leave the Bulls.
Chicago is desperate for the the return of their star player after losing the last two games handily. The rotation will also be strengthened by the return of Bulls rookie Denzel Valentine, who will play tonight after missing Thursday’s game against the New York Knicks.