Patrick Williams Targeting Return Next Week For Bulls

Forward Patrick Williams is targeting a return to the Bulls next week, as Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. Chicago assigned Williams to its G League affiliate, the Windy City Bulls, on Thursday afternoon. Williams has been sidelined since October following wrist surgery.

It was reported last night that Williams had been cleared for full contact work. The plan is for Williams to get reps in with Windy City prior to his NBA return next week.

Coach Billy Donovan said that Monday’s home game against Toronto was an unlikely return date for Williams, per K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago (Twitter link). The Bulls also have three road games next week – Tuesday at Milwaukee, Thursday at New Orleans, and Saturday at Cleveland – so any of those contests are possibilities for Williams’ return.

Donovan said last month that there was a “very good possibility” that Williams would return in the regular season, so the second-year forward appears to be on track in his recovery progress. The coach plans to ease Williams back into the rotation, meaning he’ll probably be on a minutes restriction off the bench.

Williams, 20, was the fourth pick of the 2020 draft after one season at Florida State. He started all 71 of his games as rookie last season, putting up 9.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists on .483/.391/.728 shooting. A strong, versatile defender, Williams was limited to just five games this season before suffering torn ligaments in his left wrist, necessitating surgery.

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