After missing the past three games with a bruised left knee, Jimmy Butler will return to the starting lineup tonight when the Bulls take on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Wichita, KS.
“I feel good, man,” Butler told reporters after practice concluded. “I feel like it was just a little rest and a lot of rehab. I'm feeling back to normal. Let's see how we move and jump off of it."
With just one remaining preseason game, Friday against the visiting Denver Nuggets, coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters that Joakim Noah and Kirk Hinrich are “not very” close to returning.
Noah has only played just 19 minutes and 45 seconds in one game after straining his groin during the first week of training camp. After the team shut him down for about a week, the center said that he expected to be ready for the season opener in Miami on Oct. 29 and didn’t expect this to be an lingering issue, but he sounded cautiously optimistic when talking to reporters this time around.
“It’s possible,” Noah said of missing the season opener. “But I’m not there yet. In my mind, I’m playing. I want to be out there as soon as I can. We’ll see when that is.”
Hinrich was reported to be running sprints at the end of practice and said the headaches have stopped since he suffered a concussion last Friday vs. the Indiana Pacers. He said he planned on being ready for Miami.
The Thunder will play host for their last preseason game, which is being played at Intrust Bank Arena. The Bulls have yet to be defeated in preseason play.