Noah improving, but not ready for return yet


Feb 16

By Adam Fluck

As the Bulls enter a stretch of four games in five nights and eight games in 12 days, they may have to do it without Joakim Noah, who has missed the last four games with plantar fasciitis in his left foot.

Noah will not play in Tuesday’s home game against the Knicks and Head Coach Vinny Del Negro sounded like his return was not necessarily imminent.


“I don’t want to put a specific date on it,” Del Negro said. “We’re just going to take it day by day. He’s feeling better, but the doctor and [Bulls Head Athletic Trainer] Fred [Tedeschi] feel we need to rest him a little bit more to heel it up.”

Though Del Negro said a decision to take Noah on the trip to New York for Wednesday’s game had not been made, he indicated that Noah would likely remain in Chicago for therapy. In that scenario, the third-year center may also miss Friday’s game at Minnesota.

Noah would then be re-evaluated Saturday and could possibly suit up for the Bulls’ next home game that evening against Philadelphia.  But as Del Negro said on Wednesday, “None of that is engraved in stone and we’re still in the thought process.”

Noah was still sore Tuesday morning but his condition had improved, said Del Negro. When asked if he’d consider sending Noah back to the Bahamas, where he vacationed over All-Star break, he joked, “Whatever helps him, we’re going to do.”

As for Derrick Rose, fresh off his first NBA All-Star Game appearance and still nursing a sore right hip suffered against Orlando in the team’s last game before the break on Feb. 10, Del Negro said he’s still not 100 percent. But Rose will play and the Bulls staff will keep a close eye on him.

“We’ll see how he loosens up out there,” said Del Negro. “If he’s having some issues, then I’ll monitor that and make some decisions. But I expect him to go.”

In their game on Dec. 12, a 98-89 Bulls’ win, New York set numerous Chicago opponent records for three-point field goal attempts. The Knicks also set an NBA record for most three-point field goal attempts in a half with 29 shots from downtown in the first half (they shot 16-47 3FGA for the game). New York won the teams’ second meeting this season 88-81 on Dec. 22.

Dating back to the 2004-05 season, Chicago has won 13 of the last 19 meetings in this series, including nine out of their last 10 at the United Center. The Bulls have not lost the season series against the Knicks since the 2000-01 season.

Audio—Bulls Head Coach Vinny Del Negro on Joakim Noah’s left foot injury, facing the Knicks and the upcoming trade deadline (02.16.10):

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