Bobby Portis (L) Photo by Allen Kee / ESPN Images; Nikola Mirotic (R) Photo by Phil Ellsworth / ESPN Images (CHICAGO) — An altercation at practice on Tuesday has left one Chicago Bulls players suspended, and another hospitalized.
The team’s executive vice president John Paxson said Wednesday that forward Nikola Mirotic will likely miss four to six weeks after suffering fractures to his upper jaw and a concussion in the fight with teammate Bobby Portis. Paxson said that Mirotic needs to pass a concussion protocol before the facial injuries can be treated.
Portis’ ban begins Wednesday, when the team begins its regular season in Toronto against the Raptors. He will, however, practice with the team during the suspension.
During the fight, Portis punched Mirotic, causing the facial injuries. Paxson called the brawl “inexcusable.”
“Bobby Portis is not a bad person,” Paxson added. “He’s a good kid, but he made a mistake.”
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the two players had been trash talking during the team practice, and the back and forth escalated to a physical confrontation. Mirotic reportedly charged at Portis twice before the latter player threw a punch.
Mirotic was briefly hospitalized on Tuesday before being released.
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