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CHICAGO (AP) – Niko Mirotic accepted Bobby Portis' apology on Wednesday, six weeks after his nasty altercation in practice that led to hospitalization and a suspension.

Things are still uncomfortable for the Chicago Bulls. [19659010] One day after he sat on the bench for the first time all season, Mirotic finally spoke publicly about the October 17 incident that left him hospitalized with Two facial fractures and one concussion, Portis served an eight-game suspension and Mirotic did not return to practice until Monday.

Mirotic, who has a no-change clause, declined to comment when asked if he had The Bulls were called in. The two players saw each other punch each other during the home loss on Tuesday night by 104-99 against Phoenix, but Mirotic suggested that the inter between the two players has been limited.

"At the moment, we are on the same team and we are working to make it work," said Mirotic. "The only thing I can tell you … I was always a good teammate, so I went professional with everyone and I will continue to do it, if I am here, it is because I want to support the team, he is a part of the team and I will also support him. Obviously, I'm going to give him his hands as if he too gave me his hands "

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Portis issued a public apology shortly after receiving his suspension and acknowledged that he would be open to the two of them working together.

"I would welcome him with open arms," ​​Portis said on November 13, the same day that Mirotic began training again with the team.

Mirotic said he had not yet informed Portis that he had accepted his apology.

"You know, we're teammates," Mirotic said. "On the same team, fighting for the same team and both of us are going to do what we have to do to make it work, yes, I accept it, I feel comfortable in the team, I've had a lot. Coach Fred Hoiberg said that the actions of Mirotic on Wednesday were instrumental in helping the team return to normality.The Bulls (3-16) have lost six games in a row.

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"I think it's an important first step," said Hoiberg. "Obviously, the first thing was to get back on track after the incident to get back in shape. The following thing was to return with the group, which did here the last days.

"It's good to have Niko back on the floor with the boys and another important step to speak for the first time and then continue trying to overcome it."

Mirotic will remain in Chicago as the team travels to Denver for the game on Thursday night.

Hoiberg said the first Mirotic would return to action on Monday when the Bulls host the Cleveland Cavaliers. Although he acknowledged that his return is much closer than before, Mirotic also said he would not get ahead of himself. .


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