Bulls’ Markkanen missing game against Blazers with fatigue

              Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen (24) heads for the basket as Toronto Raptors center Serge Ibaka (9) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Toronto on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen will miss the rest of the season after experiencing a rapid heart rate and fatigue.

The Bulls say tests to determine the cause of the problem have come back normal. He will continue to be evaluated over the next 10 to 14 days for precautionary reasons.

Markkanen did not play Wednesday night in the Bulls’ loss to Portland. The teams announced afterward he will miss the remaining six games.

“The long-term health of our players is always our organization’s top priority,” Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said. “We will continue to monitor Lauri’s condition and work with our medical staff and doctors to provide him with everything he may need.”

Markkanen remained overnight in Toronto after exiting Tuesday night’s loss to the Raptors with what the team called “extreme fatigue.” He was evaluated in the training room by the Bulls’ medical staff and Toronto’s team physician and underwent more tests at a hospital.

He also was examined Wednesday in Chicago. Coach Jim Boylen said Markkanen was in his office at 2 p.m. and even wanted to play against Portland.

“”We just want to do what’s best for him,” Boylen said. “We’re not going rush him back.”

The 7-foot forward from Finland averaged 18.7 points and 9.0 rebounds in his second season.

Markkanen joins a long list of unavailable Bulls players. Wendell Carter Jr., Chandler Hutchison and Denzel Valentine all had season-ending injuries.

Leading scorer Zach LaVine (bruised right thigh, right knee tendinitis), Otto Porter Jr. (strained right rotator cuff) and Kris Dunn (back) were unavailable Wednesday. That left veteran center Robin Lopez starting alongside guards Antonio Blakeney and Shaquille Harrison and forwards Brandon Sampson and Wayne Selden Jr. starting on Wednesday.