Barring setback, Bulls' Coby White on track to make debut next week

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Coby White remains on track to make debut next week originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

LOS ANGELES — Saturday and Sunday marked important days for Coby White.

The third-year guard, who has yet to play this season following offseason shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum, practiced with the Chicago Bulls on Saturday and participated in a 5-on-5 scrimmage afterward with player development coaches and non-rotation players.

Head coach Billy Donovan said White won't make his season debut on Sunday against the Los Angeles Clippers. But if White exits Saturday's work and another scheduled workout on Sunday, Donovan said the window of availability for White opens on Monday against the Los Angeles Lakers.

"I think that we’re probably looking at the Lakers or Portland," Donovan said, referencing Wednesday's game against the Trail Blazers. "I think that’s fair. I could have a better feel after (Saturday's and Sunday's) workouts."

Whenever White debuts, Donovan has said the initial plan is to work him into what likely will be a 10-man rotation slowly. That means rookie Ayo Dosunmu will continue to receive playing time.

But if White rounds into form, he projects to prop up a sagging reserve unit offensively. Though reserves like Dosunmu, Alex Caruso, Derrick Jones Jr. and Tony Bradley all have made strong contributions throughout the season, the Bulls still rank 28th in bench scoring at 26.6 points per game. Bulls reserves rank 28th in 3-pointers made per game and last in 3-pointers attempted.

White is a career 35.7 percent 3-point shooter on high volume, averaging 6.2 attempts.

The weekend workouts are designed to place White into contact situations, which he just began last week.

"The medical and coaches that want him getting to a place defensively where he can be back to where he was before he got injured. Not that he’s going to be all the way back. But because of the injury, most of his time on the court has been spent working on his game offensively. Shooting. Dribbling. Passing. Trying to get comfortable with his arm. Finishing with his left. It’s all been offense," Donovan said. "Because there’s no contact, we haven’t been able to do anything defensively with him. And that’s the biggest thing right now. How much can we in those situations, whether it be the G League or some of these low-minute runs, get him contact? And he’s not shying away from it. He’s not avoiding it. He’s not afraid of it. It’s not that at all. It’s just a matter of he has to get back physically to where he was doing those things."

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