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Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Taj Gibson hopes to push timetable

By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Taj Gibson limped into the Chicago Bulls locker room Tuesday night with a big brace on his left knee before heading to get further examination by the team's medical staff. The fourth-year forward isn't sure when he will return, but called the sprained MCL in his left knee a "minor setback."

"We don't know yet," he said. "I'm about to go see right now but we're just still making sure there's no tears or anything, but we still don't even know yet."

Gibson said the injury occurred in the second half of Sunday night's loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder when he accidentally stepped on Reggie Jackson's foot.

"I felt it right away," Gibson said. "Right after the play [coach Tom Thibodeau] called timeout and told me to go in the back."

An initial MRI on Monday revealed a sprained MCL and Thibodeau was hopeful Gibson would miss just a couple weeks. Gibson is hoping it could be less than that.

"Knowing me, I'm going to try and push it," Gibson said of the timetable. "But I just have to follow the doctors, follow my body because I never felt any pain like that before, so I'm just going to have to take my time."

Gibson, who came into Tuesday's game having missed just five games in his career, was upset his ironman reputation was going to take a hit.

"I was pissed because I know that I always want to be the guy that at least can go 82 games every year," he said. "I take good care of my body. It's just one of those things that happens when I just step on somebody else's foot. Anything can happen. I really feel what Derrick [Rose] goes through and I have nowhere near anything as weird as Derrick [does] and the pain I felt after that little encounter, I know how he feels and I give a lot of inspiration to him because seeing what he goes through every day and how he pushes through it, it's not easy."

Gibson said that when he got back to the locker room on Sunday night and saw Rose, the injured superstar had a simple message for him.

"He just said, 'Imagine what you're going though, imagine 100 times worse.' " Gibson said of Rose. "And then when we were going around everything that goes around in the league, the knee [injures] the plantar [faciitis], the ACL, the MCL, and I saw the kind of things that he hurt, I was just like, he's a soldier and the things he's doing right now coming back from that [injury] is hard."