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Hinrich expects to play on Christmas

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Kirk Hinrich and Jimmy Butler went through a full practice Monday afternoon at the Berto Center. Both players took contact during the two-hour session and after missing the past five games with stiffness in his back, Hinrich plans on playing on Christmas vs. the Brooklyn Nets.

Hinrich said he was suffering through back spasms and has been seeing a chiropractor to combat the issues. While he isn’t happy with the time it has taken to feel better, he’s glad to finally start feeling like himself again.

"I'm doing better," Hinrich told reporters. "I feel like today was big for me to get my legs underneath me a little bit. Get a little bit of timing and rhythm. But I'm definitely excited to be back. As long as I don’t get hurt walking to the car or getting off the couch or anything like that, I plan on playing.”

Hinrich would move back into his starting role and D.J. Augustin would return to a reserve role. Augustin has averaged 12 points, 7.6 assists and has shot 41 percent from 3-point range during Hinrich's absence.

Butler missed Saturday’s win over the Cleveland after spraining his right ankle in last Thursday’s loss in Oklahoma City, but took contact in practice and moved well.

Luol Deng did not practice. He told reporters last week that he was aiming to play return to the lineup on Christmas or the next game, which would be Saturday at home vs. the Dallas Mavericks. The All-Star small forward has missed two games since re-aggravating a left Achilles injury he originally suffered on a Nov. 27 game in Detroit.

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