Foot injury sidelines Joakim Noah

Updated: February 2, 2013, 6:17 PM ET
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com

NEW YORK -- Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah missed Friday's game against the Brooklyn Nets because of plantar fasciitis in his right foot, and is unsure when he will return to the lineup.

"My foot is swelling (and) is bothering me," Noah said after the Bulls' 93-89 loss to the Nets. "Plantar fasciitis is kind of coming back, so I have issues with my foot. It's frustrating, but I'm hoping that with a little bit of rest I'll be all right."

Noah dealt with the condition three years ago in his left foot and knows that it is a tricky issue that can linger.

"I know it's hard to come back from," he said. "But I'm on it a lot earlier than I was last time and I think the difference was that last time I just tried to keep fighting through it and keep fighting through it. And I'm just trying to be smart about it, because I just know that if I would have kept playing on it, even just today, I would probably have been out for a lot longer. I'm just trying to be smart."

Noah had been feeling the symptoms in his foot for a couple weeks and decided to sit out Friday and see what happens.

"It started about 10 days ago," he said. "It's just been getting worse and worse and I just knew that I needed some rest. It's frustrating because I want to be out there but I wasn't able to go today."

Noah's teammate Luol Deng understands that Noah must be cautious with this injury. Deng recently missed five straight games after re-injuring his right hamstring.

"Jo's got to do whatever he can to be healthy," Deng said. "We've discussed this as a team in terms of a lot of guys want to push themselves. I think we're at a point now where we want to be as healthy as we can be. ... With the experience that we have of being able to go deep in the playoffs the year before, we know if we're healthy we can play with anyone and that's got to be the main (goal)."

Noah, selected to his first All-Star team last month, is hoping to be back in the lineup soon. The Bulls also played without Kirk Hinrich (elbow) and Carlos Boozer (hamstring) on Friday night.

Hinrich flew back to Chicago to have his right elbow examined by Bulls team physician Dr. Brian Cole. Hinrich's status for Saturday's game against the Atlanta Hawks is questionable. Hinrich already has dealt with six separate injuries this season and missed time after cutting his right elbow earlier this month.

"(Hinrich) had some discomfort (Thursday) night, so we sent him back and we're going to have Dr. Cole take a look at him and just re-examine him," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said.

Boozer injured his hamstring during the first quarter of Monday night's win over the Charlotte Bobcats but played through it and ended up missing Wednesday's game against the Milwaukee Bucks.

"I'm all right," Boozer said before Friday's shootaround at Barclays Center. "Hanging in there. A little bit better today but still sore and stiff. Even if I don't play tonight, I might play, but if I don't, it shouldn't be more than a couple more days."

Boozer said he has been getting a lot of treatment in the past couple of days.

"Ice, massage, soft-tissue massage," he said. "Laser, a bunch of things, rest -- rest being the biggest thing."

Boozer doesn't believe the injury will linger but he doesn't want to take any chances after seeing what Deng went through with his hamstring injury over the past few weeks.

"It's like a groin (injury)," Boozer said. "It's one of those weird things where you may not feel it right away but then you make a long stride and the next thing you know you pull it. Kind of like what Lu did; Lu hurt (his hamstring) in Toronto but pulled it in Boston. So you got to be smart and be careful about it. I'm going to be smart and be careful about it."

Despite the injuries, Thibodeau said before Friday's game that he doesn't anticipate the Bulls needing to add a player to the roster. Deng and Taj Gibsoneach played 48 minutes against the Nets.

"We have more than enough, Thibodeau said. "If we get down where we feel we have multiple players out, then we'll take a look at that. But I like the guys we have on our team, they all can play. The challenge at the beginning was getting everyone to know their job and now the challenge is: you're being called upon, go out there and do your job."

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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