Nikola Mirotic is back, folks.

Well, not all the way back. His face is still healing from the fractures received from Bulls teammate Bobby Portis, and he’s not yet cleared to play. However, moments ago K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune broke the news that Niko is attending today’s team practice.

Using deductive reasoning, one would assume that means Mirotic and Portis are now in close quarters for the first time since the latter broke the former’s face with one punch during an October practice. But Bulls VP John Paxson said there still hasn’t been contact between the two.

So how does that work, exactly? Niko and Bobby are both at practice, but they still haven’t had contact? Are they just doing shooting drills on opposite ends of the Advocate Center court? Are they awkwardly avoiding each other like the guys and girls at a middle school dance? It’s a funny mental image, but an embarrassing one for the organization as they try to move past this incident and create a positive culture for their rebuilding youth movement.

Portis once again extended an olive branch from his side of the feud, saying he’d welcome reconciliation from Mirotic. Here’s a clip of Bobby talking about the situation, courtesy of WGN’s Josh Frydman:

Paxson also noted – with regard to Niko’s “him or me” demand – that trading one of the two clashing players is easier said than done.

Given the structure of Mirotic’s new contract, he can’t be traded until January 15th. The Bulls recently picked up the fourth year option on Bobby’s rookie contract.

Check back for more updates as news warrants. For now, the stalemate continues between the two veterans fighting to be shining rookie Lauri Markkanen’s backup.