A couple of familiar faces returned to the Chicago Bulls practice facility Wednesday with their health intact.
Chandler Hutchison and Tomas Satoransky rejoined the Bulls for practice after recovering from COVID-19 and are on track to play against the Charlotte Hornets on Friday, according to Bulls coach Billy Donovan.
They haven't played since Chicago's 115-107 win in Washington on Dec. 29.
"Obviously, when I knew that I'm positive, it was beyond frustration. It was a difficult moment," Satoransky said. "I was fine going into the isolation on my own, but I was kind of worried about my family. Fortunately, they all tested negative."
Due to health and safety protocols, Hutchison stayed at a hotel in Washington for 10 days throughout his self-isolation process, with a hotel assistant on call to tend to anything he needed. Once he cleared protocols, he hopped on a commercial flight back to the Windy City.
"It got pretty bad there for a couple days, but I don't think I got to a point where it was too tough to where I couldn't stay where I was in the hotel room," Hutchison said. "Just trying to rest and get a lot of water and hydrate and just stay in communication with our training staff here and our health and medical staff. It didn't quite get to the point where I felt like I had to go to the hospital."
Satoransky, who didn't have any serious symptoms of COVID-19, said it was mentally tough to be away from the team. This was Satoransky's second absence due to COVID-19 this season. In December, he missed time because of a mandated nine-day quarantine for having close contact with former Bulls forward Noah Vonleh, who tested positive during the preseason.
Chicago has had a list of other incidents as well, including Garrett Temple testing positive in November, Lauri Markkanen and Ryan Arcidiacono being out nearly two weeks under the health and safety protocols despite not testing positive, and four members of the coaching staff missing a Dec. 26 game against the Indiana Pacers.
Now that the squad is back intact, it's business as usual when they step on the hardwood. They knew this would be a possibility when they agreed to play this season.
"Without a bubble-type scenario, it was kind of an expected thing that this was going to be something that was going to circulate. You see kind of how the different teams are being affected with it now throughout the season," Hutchison said. "I think that it was never something that we were -- when they looked at the return to play, they said that it was just going to completely go away.
"There's too many factors that play into it that you can't control, and so I think this was kind of an expected thing. It was how it was going to hit and how we respond from it."