Noah insists he has overcome groin injury.
Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah has insisted that he is “100 per cent” ready to play against the Miami Heat on Tuesday night.
The 28-year-old has missed a significant amount of playing time through pre-season as he continued to battle a groin problem, and admitted earlier this week that he could be forced to sit out.
However, he went through all of Sunday’s practice without any limitations and now believes that he will be ready for season tip-off on Sunday night at the AA Arena.
“I feel pretty good,” Noah said as reported by ESPN.
“[Practice is] different than a game but I feel good and I’m really excited about Tuesday.”
“I think if my groin was still bothering me we’d have to talk about it because I didn’t want it to linger on all season. It would have been really tough to sit out a game that I’ve been waiting for all summer. I’ve been training for this game all summer. So it would have been tough but we got to think big picture.”
Along with Noah, coach Tom Thibodeau should expect to have guard Kirk Hinrich available as he has overcome both concussion and shoulder complaints suffered during the pre-season schedule.
With point guard Derrick Rose also now at full fitness, the Bulls will be hoping to keep their roster healthy for as long as possible during the regular season as they look to re-emerge as a genuine threat to the Miami Heat.
The reigning champions are looking for a third consecutive NBA championship, but will hope to get off to a quick start as they prepare to face one of their main rivals in the Eastern Conference.
In contrast, Chicago will be hoping to make a statement that they are ready for the challenge this year, and Noah will undoubtedly be integral to their chances as he continues to establish himself as one of the best big men in the game.