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Boozer sits out practice but plans to return to action this week

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Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng sat out Monday afternoon's practice at the Berto Center.

Boozer’s told reporters his sore right knee –which caused him to miss Saturday’s win over Atlanta – is improving and that he expects to play this week, either Tuesday’s home game vs. the Phoenix Suns or Friday on the road against Milwaukee.

“I don’t think it will be a long-term thing,” Boozer told reporters. “Hopefully, by the end of the week, I’ll be back out there. If not (Tuesday), then Friday.”

The power forward is taking the same precaution that Deng has – in dealing with his sore left Achilles that’s cost him nine games so far this season – in taking his time and making sure that the knee is pain-free before returning as opposed to playing through it and having it linger throughout the season.

Deng sat out Monday's practice as merely a precaution. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters that the All-Star small forward is “feeling good.”

The Bulls are winners of five of their last seven and will welcome one of the league’s surprising team in the Phoenix Suns.

With a young roster of developing talent, Phoenix was regarded to challenge for the league’s worst record before the season begin, but with a high-octane offense, they’re right in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race.