The Chicago Bulls carried another losing streak into Tuesday's action, so it would appear Zach LaVine can't return soon enough from ACL surgery.

Coach Fred Hoiberg pumped the brakes on that idea before the Bulls played Phoenix, agreeing with a suggestion it might be late December before LaVine makes his Bulls debut.

"I would say so," Hoiberg said. "He's had three really good days with us since he's been cleared for full contact. He didn't do a lot (Tuesday). He was really sore, especially in his hamstrings and in his quads, so we just have to be really careful about not overloading him too early in this process

"But he's itching to get back. He's a competitor, he's a worker. He's a kid that always wants to be out on the floor doing extra stuff, but, yeah, we're going to have to hold him back a little bit as we go along."

Hoiberg said the plan this week is for LaVine and Nikola Mirotic to skip Thursday's trip to Denver and instead get a couple of practices in with the Windy City Bulls.

LaVine tore the ACL in his left knee last Feb. 3 while playing for Minnesota. Mirotic is recovering from facial fractures.

"The biggest thing is getting out there in a 5-on-5 setting where (LaVine) can get his timing," Hoiberg said. "He told me he's the best-conditioned player on the team and after yesterday's practice I said, 'no, you're not.'