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Friday, February 15, 2013
Joakim Noah gets foot treatment

By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com

HOUSTON -- Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah had platelet-rich plasma treatment on his right foot Thursday to help ease the pain of plantar fasciitis.

Noah, who will play in his first All-Star Game on Sunday, said the foot is feeling better. He missed almost a week of action recently because of ongoing issues with the foot.

"I'm happy that it's not getting any worse," Noah said. "I did the PRP thing on Thursday morning.

"It was very painful after the treatment. I can still feel it a little bit but I think it's helpful, so I'm hoping with some rest today and some rest tomorrow I think I'll be OK. I won't do too much on Sunday. I won't play 44 minutes, I'll put it that way."

Noah, who had the same treatment three years ago while battling plantar fasciitis in his left foot, appeared to be in good spirits as he spoke to the assembled media. He played more than 43 minutes in a loss to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night, but obviously doesn't expect nearly as much time in Sunday's game. He said he talked to Eastern Conference coach Erik Spoelstra about his situation.

"I spoke to him very quickly. He was aware about my foot but he said he was going to play me a lot," Noah said jokingly.

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, appearing on "The Carmen, Jurko & Harry Show" on Friday, said he's not worried about Noah aggravating the injury.

"He'll be fine," Thibodeau said. "If he felt he was jeopardizing anything, he wouldn't do it.

"He won't be playing a lot of minutes. He'll probably get up and down the court a couple of times and that will be it."

Thibodeau said the key is staying on top of the injury. Noah is tied for seventh in the league in playing time at 38.3 minutes per game.

"You have to manage it," Thibodeau said. "You're not the first guy to have that type of injury. It's common.

"I think Joakim has learned from past experiences, and he's doing a good job of it. You're always mindful of that, and you have to take care of it and hopefully it will work out."

In the meantime, Noah is enjoying his time in the All-Star spotlight.

"It's an unbelievable experience, man," Noah said. "I've been dreaming about this since I was a little boy. And to finally be in this situation, playing against these great players and being able to share this experience with all the best players in the world, it's very humbling."

As for playing with rival Kevin Garnett, a man Noah has been critical of in the past, the emotional center seemed to be looking forward to it.

"I think it's great," he said. "Being able to play with guys that you compete against all the time and battle and just give everything you (got) to try and get a win and now to be able to share a moment like this, it's cool."

For Noah, whose famous father, Yannick, is expected to join him later this weekend, the experience in Houston is all about fun.

"I told my mom she couldn't come," he said. "I told her that she should stay in Hawaii, and this was going to be a boys' trip."