- Nick Friedell, Chicago Bulls beat reporter
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CHICAGO -- Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich will not play in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Milwaukee Bucks because of a hyperextended left knee. Hinrich has been dealing with the injury since the beginning of the month and head coach Tom Thibodeau is unsure when the veteran point guard will be able to return to the floor.
"[The rehab progression] has sort of plateaued off," Thibodeau said after Saturday's shootaround. "So he's been stuck for a few days now. So hopefully we can find something to get him better."
With Hinrich out, the Bulls will lean on Derrick Rose and Aaron Brooks to pick up even more slack. Second-year wingman Tony Snell could also see more time off the bench. As far as Rose's minutes go, Thibodeau hinted that he wouldn't have much of a restriction. Since returning from a right knee meniscectomy on April 8, Rose has averaged about 20 minutes a game. He only played 10 minutes in Wednesday's win over the Atlanta Hawks because of a sore left knee.
"Not really," Thibodeau said, when asked if Rose's minutes would be restricted at all. "It's just him playing well and we'll see what he can handle. Same thing with Joakim [Noah]. But from a minutes standpoint, I think we're in a good place."
Noah has missed the last two games because of left hamstring discomfort. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year has been bothered off and on throughout the season by left knee pain after offseason knee surgery. He has been on a minutes limit all season of around 32 minutes a game, but he says those restrictions are now off heading into the postseason.
"No restrictions," Noah said.
Bulls forward Taj Gibson had a cortisone shot in his left shoulder during halftime of Wednesday's game, but is expected to play in Game 1 as well.
Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich will not play in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Milwaukee Bucks because of a hyperextended left knee.