Taj Gibson in; Rip Hamilton out
CHICAGO -- Rip Hamilton will not play Friday night's game against the Milwaukee Bucks because of what coach Tom Thibodeau called a thigh bruise.
Hamilton, the Bulls' big free-agent signing this season, had missed 10 games with strained groin injury he suffered on Dec. 30 against the Clippers. He's averaging 14.5 points.
Thibodeau said Hamilton's latest injury occurred in the Bulls' 95-90 loss to Indiana on Wednesday night. He tried to practice Friday morning.
"He thought it would be OK," Thibodeau said.
Kyle Korver will start in Hamilton's place.
Taj Gibson has missed the last three games with an ankle sprain. He is expected to play Friday.
"Taj is moving great," Thibodeau said. "He was in [the Berto Center] yesterday. We had a small group working out."
Hamilton's injury is the latest setback for a Bulls roster that has been plagued by injuries; Derrick Rose, Deng, Gibson, Joakim Noah, John Lucas III and C.J. Watson have missed games because of varying health maladies.
Thibodeau thinks the rash of injuries around the league is probably similar to what happens in a normal, spaced-out season. But with a truncated schedule, it's more noticeable.
"It might be a little more noticeable," he said. "Where you might be able to get past a bump and a bruise with a missed practice and a treatment [during a normal season], but it seems like with the games coming quickly as they're coming, it's more noticeable."
Still, Thibodeau won't make any excuses.
"It's all part of it," he said. "Even in the regular NBA season, there's going to be injuries and you have to deal with them accordingly. Everyone's faced with the same challenges."
Bucks center Andrew Bogut is out 8-12 weeks.
Jon Greenberg is a columnist for ESPNChicago.com.