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Upbeat Kris Dunn eager to return to Bulls

K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Basketball

CHICAGO -- Several times, Kris Dunn's father made him watch the replay of Dunn's scary fall that concussed him, dislocated two of his teeth and took a chunk out of the United Center floor.

"It was definitely a scary fall," Dunn said Wednesday in his first public comments since the Jan. 17 incident. "But as long as I had my teeth in there, I was fine. I played football, so as long as those were in there, I'm good."

The fact Dunn could chuckle about the scary situation is when he knew he was better.

"Last week, I just felt fine," Dunn said. "I wasn't doing the things I was doing before. I wasn't sleeping during the day. I wasn't getting the headaches during the day or at night.

"I'm a high-energy guy. I like to laugh and all that. And I had that bounce to me. Everybody started to see me getting better. It was just a process of trying to maintain and keeping that energy."

That process is ongoing, and there's no timetable for Dunn's return. He has not officially exited the league's concussion protocol despite taking part in non-contact portions of Tuesday's Windy City Bulls practice and Wednesday's NBA Bulls practice.

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But the fact he's up and about and has, in coach Fred Hoiberg's words, "one more step" to pass is a good sign. The Bulls are 1-7 since Dunn went down.

"People thought I almost broke my neck, so the fact I have my teeth is definitely a blessing," said Dunn, who admitted dentists had to make sure the nerves to his teeth's roots weren't dead. "The concussion protocol was a pain. It kept coming back. When I thought I felt good, it just kept rising some days. I'd go outside, try to take walks and clear my head and it wasn't doing well. It took a while, but now I'm doing good."

Well, except for that running thing. Conditioning and taking contact are Dunn's remaining hurdles.

"I can tell you one thing, my legs are dead," he said. "When you have certain injuries like a sprained ankle ... you can do (physical) activities. But with a concussion you can't. So (Tuesday) was kind of like my first time actually touching the floor."

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