Joakim Noah 'likely out' for Game 5

Updated: May 8, 2012, 1:21 PM ET
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah is "most likely out" of Game 5 on Tuesday night because of a sprained left ankle, according to head coach Tom Thibodeau.

"He's a little better," Thibodeau said after Monday's practice. "He'll be a game-time [decision], most likely out."

Noah sprained his ankle badly in Game 3 on Friday night after stepping on the foot of Philadelphia 76ers guard Andre Iguodala midway through the third quarter. Thibodeau took him out of the game, but decided to re-enter him in the fourth after he was cleared by Bulls' athletic trainer Fred Tedeschi. Noah actually knocked down a jumper after being re-inserted but he limped badly around the floor before being taken out of the game for good.

X-rays taken immediately after the game were negative but Noah left Wells Fargo Center on crutches in an air cast. Thibodeau stated the 27 year old was improving but he watched Game 4 from the bench while wearing a walking boot. Noah has not spoken to reporters since the injury.

Thibodeau said he wasn't sure if Noah is still using the crutches.

"He's doing some walking around now," Thibodeau said. "He's better."

Noah is the second Bulls' starter to go down this postseason after Derrick Rose tore the ACL in his left knee at the end of Game 1. Rose spent part of Monday at the Berto Center talking to his teammates as he awaits surgery to fix his knee.

"They're still working through things," Thibodeau said, when asked if a surgery date has been set yet. "He's coming along well. He's doing a lot of rehab and feels pretty good so that's encouraging."

Information from The Associated Presswas used in this report.

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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