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Taj, Kirk to play against Blazers

3/21/2013

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls power forward Taj Gibson will return Thursday night against the Portland Trail Blazers after missing 10 games with a sprained left MCL.

Kirk Hinrich also will return after missing the last eight games with a right foot injury. Hinrich has missed 22 games this season because of seven different injuries.

"I think it will be a go," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said before the game. "They're going to warm up but so far so good."

Gibson said he's eager to return.

"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."

Rip Hamilton is still dealing with a back injury that has kept him out of the past nine games.

"We'll just let him work through his rehab, see what happens," Thibodeau said. "The back is something you've got to be careful with. You just have to be patient.

"It's not clearing up right now so we have to wait."