The Chicago Bulls play host to the Indiana Pacers on Friday night at the United Center, and for the fifth consecutive game this preseason, they’ll have to take the court with an incomplete starting lineup as Joakim Noah will be scratched from the starting rotation due to his groin injury.
"We’re going to shut Jo down," Tom Thibodeau said when asked on the status of Noah for the game after the team’s shootaround at the United Center. "He’s got a little soreness, so we want to get that taken care of."
Noah didn’t speak to reporters, but Thibodeau said he did participate fully in practice and could be seen riding a stationary bike afterwards.
Thibodeau said that Noah should be fully healthy in about a week, but remarked, "We just want to make sure he’s really healthy before we move forward. It’s better, but it’s not where we’d like it to be. We want [his groin] to be completely healthy to where he doesn’t feel it."
As for the other Bulls player nursing an injury, Thibodeau said that Jimmy Butler -- who missed Wednesday’s game against the Detroit Pistons with a knee bruise -- would be a game time decision on taking the court against Indiana.
"He’s a little bit better, but we’ll see where he is tonight," said Thibodeau before revealing that Butler did not participate fully in shootaround. "He did some, he didn’t do everything. But we’ll see tonight."