Joakim Noah back on shelf for groin

Updated: October 18, 2013, 11:21 PM ET
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Joakim Noah has been shut down for a week by Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau as the All-Star center continues to rehab a strained groin.

Noah played 20 minutes in his first preseason game Wednesday night against the Detroit Pistons but is still feeling discomfort.

Thibodeau He's got a little soreness, so we want to make sure we get that taken care of. Probably another week or so, but we just want to make sure he's completely healthy before we move forward.

-- Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau

"We're going to shut Jo down," Thibodeau said after Friday's shootaround. "He's got a little soreness, so we want to make sure we get that taken care of. Probably another week or so, but we just want to make sure he's completely healthy before we move forward."

Thibodeau said there has been some improvement but not enough to warrant Noah continuing to play.

"It's better, but it's not where we'd like it to be," Thibodeau said. "We want it completely healthy where he's doesn't feel it, and right now he's still feels it, so we got to take care of that.

"We want him to focus on the rehab right now; just continue to put everything you have into the rehab. He's close. We'll see where he is in a week. Because of where we are in the season too, we want to make sure that it's completely healed."

Noah said he isn't concerned that this injury will last into the start of the regular season, but he isn't sure if he will be able to play in the Bulls' last preseason game Oct. 25 against the Denver Nuggets. The Bulls open the regular season on Oct. 29 against the Miami Heat.

"It flared up on me so just need a little more time," Noah said before Friday's preseason game against the Indiana Pacers. "We got a little time, I want to be out there, we're looking good. I got to be healthy. It sucks especially this early in the season, but it is what it is. I'll just get back as soon as I can."

Thibodeau acknowledged that Noah's status may affect what the Bulls do with their final roster spot.

"I don't want to get ahead of myself, but it could," Thibodeau said. "We're looking at what our needs are. The one good thing: Jo's only played [20] minutes so far in the preseason. So it has given us a look at Nazr [Mohammed], Taj [Gibson], Murph [Erik Murphy], and we also know we have Luol [Deng], who can go to the 4, we have Jimmy [Butler], who can go to the 4, and we have Mike Dunleavy, who can go to the 4.

"That's what I like about our team is the versatility. We're still evaluating. In the end, we'll do what we think is best for the team."

The good news for the Bulls is that Thibodeau sounds confident the feet problems that have plagued Noah the past few years are gone.

"We want to make sure that we get that out and taken care of," Thibodeau said. "His feet are really good, so that's a plus. Overall, I thought his timing wasn't great offensively, like it normally is, but defensively his reaction time to the ball was terrific and his defense was outstanding, so that part is good.

"There's things he can do right now. He's in the pool, so he's taking care of his cardio that way, and he's doing a lot of band work and things like that, so it's good."

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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