Lauri Markkanen will miss the Chicago Bulls' final six games after the team announced Wednesday it would shut him down for the remainder of the season. The Athletic's Shams Charania first reported the move.
The Bulls said after a game Wednesday night that Markkanen "has been undergoing tests to determine the cause of an episode of a rapid heart rate and fatigue during (Tuesday's) game in Toronto." After Markkanen didn't play the second half on Tuesday, the team said the second-year forward and former Arizona Wildcats standout was dealing with "extreme fatigue."
Markkanen stayed overnight in Toronto following the road game and underwent tests at a hospital, per ESPN.
"The long-term health of our players is always our organization's top priority," said John Paxson, the Bulls' executive vice president of basketball operations, in a press release. "We will continue to monitor Lauri's condition and work with our medical staff and doctors to provide him with everything he may need."
The team said all tests have came back "normal," but that it would rest him over the final two weeks of the regular season while he receives additional testing. At 21-55, Chicago is far from playoff position.
Markkanen missed Chicago's home game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday, a 118-98 Bulls loss. He will finish the season having averaged 18.7 points and nine rebounds.
A high-grade sprain in his right elbow forced Markkanen to sit out the first 23 games this season. He averaged 32.9 minutes per game — about three more minutes than he averaged as a rookie — and was heavily relied on in a depleted Bulls rotation.