Markkanen had been sidelined with a sprained right elbow he sustained in training camp. Initially, he was scheduled to be out six to eight weeks. He missed the team's first 23 games.
"I felt good and I had no problems with my elbow," said Markkanen, who entered the game with about 4½ minutes left in the first quarter. "That's a positive. I was just glad to be out there."
Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said after the game that he will limit Markkanen's minutes in his first games back.
Last season, Markkanen averaged 15.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game in his rookie campaign.
Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.