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Friday, April 29, 2011
Carlos Boozer undergoes MRI

By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer underwent an MRI on his right big toe, and the results were consistent with turf toe.

Boozer didn't practice as the Bulls prepared to face the Atlanta Hawks in the Eastern Conference semifinals, which begin Monday at the United Center. Coach Tom Thibodeau expects Boozer to be ready for Game 1.

"[He's] day to day," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "He didn't practice today. We'll check him again [Saturday].

"It's hard to say [if he'll be ready to play Monday], but I'm thinking that he will be able to. He has some discomfort, but it's gotten better each day. Hopefully, [Saturday] it will be a lot better."

Boozer suffered the injury in the second quarter of the Bulls' clinching win over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday.

"I just went up for a shot, the one I made in the second quarter, early in the second quarter, and felt a pop," Boozer said after the game. "I'm just going to get it right. It's a good thing we got some time before the next [series]."

Boozer's injury could open the door to more playing time for Taj Gibson.

"Knowing Carlos, I think he's going to play," Gibson said. "I know he's going to play hard and he's going to play well.

"That's one thing about our team, we've got a lot of guys that aren't going to slack off. However [many] minutes I get, I'm just going in, doing my job, play with a lot of energy, play with a lot of effort, and just play."

Boozer scored just two points in over 15 minutes on Tuesday night. He admitted that he is dealing with some frustration due to his recent poor play.

"Everybody gets frustrated a little bit," he said. "But the biggest thing about us is we hold together as a group of guys, and we have one goal in mind, to win. And no matter what happens, as long as we win, that's all that matters."

Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.