CHICAGO — Guess who’s bizzack?
Jazz guard Rodney Hood is set to make his return in Chicago tonight.
After missing the last seven games with what team officials described as “left ankle soreness,” Hood clarified the injury ahead of Wednesday’s game during shootaround at the United Center.
“Ankle soreness tendon soreness, around my Achilles,” Hood said. “Just as a medical staff, we just decided to let it rest rather than complicate it and I’d be out for a longer time.”
So what happened?
“It changed,” he added. “It started as an ankle soreness during the game, I think when we played Milwaukee (on Nov. 25), then my foot just started hurting everywhere after that so I just had to rest it and I trust the training staff here.”
The Jazz (13-14) have gone 4-3 in his absence, but have lost the last three games entering Chicago.
Hood is the Jazz’s leading scorer, averaging a career-best 17.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.8 assists in his fourth season out of Duke. The left-handed sharpshooter returned to a non-contact practice Monday.
Jonas Jerebko is also probable with an illness, Raul Neto is out with a concussion and Joe Johnson is questionable with right wrist tendon instability after missing the past 20 games. Johnson also participated in Monday’s practice and was spotted during shootaround.
Utah is on the second stop of a brutal six-game road trip. The Jazz have won just two of their 11 road games this season.
The Bulls (6-20) are currently at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, with the league’s second-worst record, but have run off three straight games heading into tonight’s game at 6 p.m. MST.
“We’re going to see a team right now that’s found a little bit of a groove,” said Jazz coach Quin Snyder. “I think (Kris) Dunn is playing very well, doing a great job at pick and roll, (Nikola) Mirotic is back so they’re a different team on a number of levels.”
Chicago surprisingly upset Boston, 108-85, on Monday and is playing at the United Center for the third straight game.
Utah won the first game on Nov. 22 at Vivint Arena against Chicago, 110-80.
Hood went off for 19 points off the bench in that contest while Derrick Favors posted 23 points and seven boards.
Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell is happy to have Hood back.
“It’s going to be great to have Rodney back,” Mitchell said. “He’s been the guy that’s been talking to me a lot throughout this whole season.”