Found October 28, 2013 on NBA Injury News:
The Chicago Bulls may not have to worry about starting the season without their 6′-11 starting center Joakim Noah. Head coach Tom Thibodeau would not give a definite “yes” or “no” as to whether or not Noah would be in the starting lineup come opening day, but Chicago fans should be optimistic. The center is not considering sitting out against the Miami Heat on Tuesday. Joakim Noah, who had been sidelined due to a groin injury throughout the preseason, is planning to be in the middle of the circle come opening day at American Airlines Arena in Miami for the tip-off. Earlier in the week, Noah thought he might miss the 2013-14 season’s opener, but after practicing with no limitations on Sunday, he feels he is ready to start the season on time. “I feel pretty good,” Noah said. “[Practice is] different than a game but I feel good and I’m really excited about Tuesday. I think if my groin was still bothering me we’d have to talk about it because I didn’t want it to linger on all season, it would have been really tough to sit out a game that I’ve been waiting for all summer. I’ve been training for this game all summer. So it would have been tough but we got to think big picture.” (Nick Friedell, ESPNChicago.com) So what is the big picture for the Chicago Bulls? Both Noah and shooting guard Kirk Hinrich are looking to be in the starting lineup on Tuesday while coming off of injuries. Combining them with Derrick Rose, this team will challenge the Heat in the Eastern Conference. Hinrich had been battling both shoulder injuries and a concussion throughout much of the preseason but his shoulder has been feeling better the last few days and he passed all the concussion tests. “They went through everything,” Coach Thibodeau said. “They came in [Saturday], they were fine so we’ll see where they are.” Does opening against the defending champions mean a little more to Noah? “Of course,” Noah said. “Duh. Every time you play against Miami it’s a statement [game]. It’s the beginning of our season, we’re a hungry group. We’ve been waiting for this game for a long time. It’s one of 82 but we know every time we play against Miami it’s important.“ With everything looking to be on the upside, opening day just means a little more excitement for the “Windy City.”
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