Kirk Hinrich expects to play vs. Nets

Updated: December 24, 2013, 2:55 PM ET
By Nick Friedell |

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich expects to play Christmas Day against the Brooklyn Nets after missing the past five games because of back stiffness. Hinrich and Jimmy Butler (right ankle) both practiced Tuesday while veteran forward Luol Deng (Achilles) was limited to rehab work and some shooting.

[+] EnlargeKirk Hinrich
Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty ImagesKirk Hinrich expects to play against the Nets on Wednesday in Brooklyn.
"They felt good today," coach Tom Thibodeau said after Tuesday's practice at the Berto Center. "We'll see where they are tomorrow."

Hinrich said he's been getting a lot of extra treatment trying to get back on the floor

"I'm doing better," Hinrich said Monday. "I feel like today was big for me to get my legs underneath me a little bit. Get a little bit of timing and rhythm. But I'm definitely excited to be back ... as long as I don't get hurt walking to the car, getting off the couch or anything like that, I plan on playing, yeah."

Butler said Tuesday he thought he could play Wednesday. He previously missed time this season because of a turf toe on his right foot.

"I feel good," Butler said. "Some progress, but I think I'm getting better. I think I'm well enough to go out there and compete."

As for Deng, Thibdoeau wants to see how his treatment progresses before setting a target date for the All-Star forward. Deng noted last week that he was hoping to be back by the Nets game or the next game against the Dallas Mavericks on Dec. 28.

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 for its launch in April 2009.


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