Chicago Bulls Coach Tom Thibodeau does not give a straight answer about playing his injured players. When asked about the status of center Joakim Noah and guard Kirk Hinrich, he kept his answers vague. Thibodeau has the reputation of putting his players to work, because hard work wins championships. But he will rest his players as well.
Noah claims to be ready and had been preparing for the season opener against the Miami Heat all summer. Hinrich, who had been out due to a shoulder injury and a concussion, had previously passed all concussion tests and both players were full participants in practice for the second consecutive day on Monday. Coach Thibodeau stated that Noah had not been in full contact play yet and would need to be cleared by medical staff before he could suit up for the game in Tuesday’s opener.
Teammate Luol Deng said that both Noah and Hinrich should be expected in the lineup against the Heat on Tuesday night, according to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun Times. The Bulls’ forward knows that this is an important game and the two starters should be on the floor opening night against their biggest rival in the Eastern Conference.