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Pau Gasol expected to miss more games; Taj Gibson tweaks hamstring

WASHINGTON -- In the midst of another postgame press conference in which he was forced to describe the fallout of a lackluster defeat, Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg acknowledged that All-Star center Pau Gasol would be out for at least "a few games."

Gasol has missed the last two games because of a swollen right knee and a timetable for his return to the lineup remains unclear after Hoiberg's admission following a 117-96 loss to the Washington Wizards.

"With Joakim [Noah] out for the season. With Pau out for, we don't know exactly how long, but for the next few games for sure," Hoiberg said, while describing his frontcourt's issues. "With Taj [Gibson] out, it makes it tough. Bobby [Portis] and Cris [Felicio] are going to have to go out and get us minutes. Cam Bairstow's banged up as well. His back is not allowing him to play as well. You've got to go with what you have."

Gibson's hamstring injury forced him to leave Wednesday's game in the second quarter. Hoiberg said Gibson would be reevaluated on Thursday. The Bulls host the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday night.

"Just a tight hamstring, man," Gibson said. "It's frustrating [that] it's tight. I tried to go out there and give it a go, and this one you've got to listen to your body."

The good news for the Bulls is that Derrick Rose played for the first time in almost a week on Wednesday after sitting out the past two games because of a groin strain. Jimmy Butler has played just three games over the last six weeks because of a knee strain, but is hopeful he will be able to stay on the floor for the rest of the season.

With Gasol out and now Gibson likely out for at least a game or two, the Bulls are going to have to rely even more on young players such as Portis, Felicio and Niko Mirotic to pick up the slack.

"We'll have to evaluate it," Gibson said of the hamstring. "Understand that the playoff race is close. We'll need everybody. I feel something positive coming. I don't know how many days [the recovery] will take but we'll have to reevaluate it. Just trying to be there for the guys. It was frustrating tonight early."