Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler expected to return on Monday against Washington Wizards

The Chicago Bulls have, unexpectedly, won 5 games in a row to start 2014, and now, it looks as if they’ll have an injection of energy and talent on the wing after a short absence.

Starting swingman Jimmy Butler is expected to return to the lineup on Monday night against the Wizards, and head coach Tom Thibodeau was quick to compliment Butler on how he looked in shootaround this morning. Butler missed Chicago’s last game, on Saturday against the Bobcats, with a thigh injury, but he is instrumental in the team’s future plans, especially after they moved Luol Deng to the Cavs.

The 24-year-old Butler doesn’t have staggering statistical performance this season (12.1 points, 4.1 rebounds per game with a 14.07 PER), but he is an effective two-way player, and at his age, there is some real upside. If there is a fear with Butler, it is that Thibodeau will run him into ground (remember him playing 45+ minutes per game in last season’s playoffs?), but if they take care of him, he’ll be a fixture on the wing for the foreseeable future.

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