Gibson hopes to play against Blazers

March, 20, 2013
3/20/13
1:58
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
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DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls power forward Taj Gibson hopes to play against the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday after missing nearly a month because of a sprained MCL in his left knee.

"I felt great today," Gibson said after Wednesday's practice. "I had a great scrimmage, a great practice, it felt good to be back out there with the guys, just like old times. I'm just looking forward to trying to come back and play."

Gibson said if he feels good after warming up Thursday he will be ready to try and play again.

"Just if I can plant off it," Gibson said of his left leg. "If I can guard somebody, that's the main thing I'm trying to do right now. I'm just trying to get it strong, get it stable. But it was fine today so I'm looking forward to seeing how it's going to react (Thursday)."

Gibson said it has been tough to sit and watch games as the Bulls continue to struggle. They come into Thursday's game having lost three of their past four.

"Every game in the back with Derrick (Rose) is just painful," Gibson said. "Just watching, because you know you can't go out there and help guys, especially on defense, just bring energy to try and help the team do whatever it takes to win.

"Especially coming down the stretch we're going to need everybody, even myself, Kirk (Hinrich), everybody. We understand our backs are against the wall, we just have to keep winning."

As for the rest of the injured Bulls, coach Tom Thibodeau said Hinrich did more in practice. Richard Hamilton did not practice and is not expected to play. Rose's situation remains fluid as he continues to rehab from a torn ACL in his left knee.

"Taj did a lot more," Thibodeau said. "Kirk did a lot more. (They're) feeling better. Still day to day."

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