As planned, Bulls guard Zach LaVine was cleared by his doctor on Monday morning in Los Angeles and he joined teammates for his first full practice with the Bulls later in the day.
"Got him some light contact today to get the process started," coach Fred Hoiberg told reporters at UCLA. "He'll be able to play a little 2-on-2 with not a lot a lot of practice time these next 10 days, but we'll throw him out there and continue to try to get him feeling better.
"There is going to be a mental hurdle that he is going to have to clear as well, but I know he's excited, his teammates are excited as well and the coaches are obviously excited."
LaVine suffered a torn ACL in his left knee last Feb. 3 while playing for Minnesota. Over the summer, he was the key piece in the trade sending three-time all-star Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves.
LaVine's recovery has gone well and he resumed basketball activity months ago. But doctors wanted to give the injury a full nine months to heal before he resumed full-contact practice.
It's not clear when LaVine will be ready for game action, but it figures to be at least a few weeks. Hoiberg said LaVine needs to "string together a lot of really good days" before he'll play.
"When you see him out there playing without hesitation, that will be an indication he's ready," Hoiberg said. "Just to watch him move and run gets you excited. You can do a lot of things with that athleticism."
LaVine, a 6-5 shooting guard, is a two-time slam dunk contest champ who was averaging 18.9 points last season at the time of his injury.