Mike Dunleavy at least a month away from returning to Bulls lineup

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Mike Dunleavy has yet to play a game for the Bulls this year after undergoing offseason back surgery, and from the looks of it, he won’t be back in the lineup anytime soon. Dunleavy re-signed with the Bulls over the summer on a three-year, $14.4 million deal after two solid seasons in Chicago, but setbacks in his rehab have pushed him well past the 8-10 week recovery timeline that the Bulls announced when he had the initial surgery shortly before training camp. On Saturday, Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said he’s at least a month away from returning:

This means Dunleavy will not return until after the All-Star break at the earliest. It’s not ideal, because the Bulls’ other small forwards (Doug McDermott, Tony Snell and Nikola Mirotic) have all been inconsistent. His solid shooting and defense will provide stability to their lineup once he returns. But back injuries are tricky, and Dunleavy is 35, so it’s still entirely possible he has another setback.