Hinrich (hip) a game-time call vs. Suns

November, 14, 2012
11/14/12
12:31
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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PHOENIX -- Chicago Bulls point guard Kirk Hinrich continues to improve from a strained right hip injury, and coach Tom Thibodeau is hopeful he will play against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday.

"We'll see," Thibodeau said before Wednesday morning's shootaround. "He's feeling better. We'll see what he can do. He was a lot better (Tuesday), and we'll see after this morning and (Wednesday night) warming up."

Thibodeau said Hinrich would have to participate in most of the shootaround to get back in a rhythm.

"I know he's feeling a lot better, so we have to let him get out there before (playing)," Thibodeau said. "He did some (Tuesday) and feels a lot better today."

Hinrich sustained the injury during the first half of a over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday and sat out Monday's game against the Boston Celtics. He has already dealt with a thumb sprain and a groin strain in the preseason.

Thibodeau acknowledged that he would keep a close eye on Hinrich and veteran Richard Hamilton because of their lingering injury concerns. Hamilton missed 38 games last season because of various injuries. He is averaging just 26 minutes a game this year and has been absent during several fourth quarters.

"I think Rip's done fine, I'm trying to monitor his minutes also right now," Thibodeau said. "The big thing for him, and for us, is his health. That's what I'm concerned with most ... he's fine. I just want to make sure he remains that way."

If Hinrich doesn't play Wednesday, veteran Nate Robinson will start in his place. Rookie Marquis Teague also could see some more time after a confidence building performance Monday night in which he played down the stretch against Celtics' All-Star Rajon Rondo.

"We'll see," Thibodeau said of his point guard rotations. "Obviously Nate will be the backup, Kirk will start (if he plays), and Marquis is there and ready. As I mentioned before, each day (Teague) comes in, he's working hard, he's improving, we're not afraid to use him. He's a good player."

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Derrick Rose
PTS AST STL MIN
15.9 4.3 0.5 31.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Noah 11.3
AssistsJ. Noah 5.4
StealsJ. Butler 1.9
BlocksJ. Noah 1.5