Injured Bulls center Joakim Noah running out of remedies, time
BY JOE COWLEY April 8, 2013 2:34PM
Updated: April 8, 2013 2:34PM
There was a hint of desperation in Joakim Noah’s voice following the loss in Detroit on Sunday night.
The Bulls All-Star center was obviously searching.
“I’m doing everything: Massage, sleep in a splint, ice … ‘’ Noah said, when asked about dealing with the pain of the plantar fasciitis in his right foot. “If you got any remedies you want to give me I’ll probably do it.’’
As the Bulls found out Monday morning, very little seems to be working for Noah.
According to coach Tom Thibodeau, Noah had a setback with the right foot, and now it’s back to square one of life without their starting big man with no timetable for a return on the horizon.
“Yeah, it’s a tough one,’’ Thibodeau said of the plantar fasciitis injury. “You never really know with that type of injury.
“We don’t want anyone to play who is injured. At this time of the year, there are a lot of guys that are hurting that will play, but if a guy is injured we don’t want him out there.’’
The Bulls had him out there against the Pistons, and all went well, despite the fact that he was limited to just 21 minutes. Noah had 13 points and seven rebounds in his time on the court, and said after the game that everything felt good.
His foot had a different side to the story when he woke up Monday morning, however, and now after missing the eight games leading into the loss to the Pistons, Noah is back on the shelf with just six regular-season games left.
“The good part is prior to last night, the previous eight games, I thought that was our best stretch of basketball throughout the course of the season, so that was the good thing,’’ Thibodeau said. “Obviously, we’re very disappointed with the way we played [Sunday] night, but the previous eight games we played very good basketball. So we’re more than capable and we’ve got to get it right.’’
In those eight games that Thibodeau was talking about, the Bulls went 6-2, beating the likes of Indiana and Brooklyn, as well as ending the 27-game winning streak of Miami.
As far as the other injury concerns, Derrick Rose (left knee), Rip Hamilton (back) and Taj Gibson (left knee) all practiced and had no setbacks. Gibson, however, was the only one that Thibodeau mentioned as a possibility to return this week.
Marco Belinelli (strained abdomen) woke up with pain, and admitted that he’s just going to have to deal with playing with pain for the rest of the season, while Luol Deng (sore right hip) was “better,’’ according to Thibodeau.
Either way, the Bulls are going into the playoffs limping, rather than with a swagger.
“Whoever we have that’s who we’re going with,’’ Thibodeau said. “We have more than enough to win.’’