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Kirk Hinrich iffy for Bulls’ opener

Updated: November 26, 2013 6:41AM



When it comes to injuries, few NBA coaches use as much sleight of hand as Tom Thibodeau.

He announced Thursday that guard Kirk Hinrich passed the NBA protocol for head injuries but was dealing with a shoulder injury he ­suffered when he hit the floor last Friday against the Indiana Pacers.

Out with the concussion, in with the latest setback.

“I took a shot in the shoulder blade, as well,’’ Hinrich said. “It’s been ­giving me some trouble doing basketball activities.’’

With center Joakim Noah (groin) already doubtful for the opener Tuesday in Miami, Hinrich might be on the bench alongside Noah. He was going to see where he was before the last preseason game Friday against the Denver Nuggets, have three days of rest and rehab, then get re-evaluated.

“Well, I never rule anything out because I believe you never know how someone’s going to feel,’’ Thibodeau said of Hinrich and Noah sitting out the start of the season.

Noah didn’t do much in practice, but he did some sprints on the treadmill to get his conditioning back to where it was at the start of camp.

“[Noah would] have to be cleared by our medical team, and I’ll leave it at that,’’ Thibodeau said.

Nate’s back

Guard Nate Robinson’s 2012-13 season with the Bulls was memorable not only for his scoring exploits, but also because of his antics.

Now with the Nuggets and fresh off a $10,000 fine for pushing ­Thunder center Steven Adams, Robinson is expected to play against his former team. Jimmy Butler, who was going to dinner with ­Robinson, couldn’t wait.

“You know it,’’ Butler said when asked if he expected Robinson to bring some trash-talking back to the United Center. “You know it’s coming.’’



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