Bulls big man may be forced into limited minutes against Brooklyn.
Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah has revealed he is still struggling with a foot injury that has hampered him during the conclusion of the regular season, and may face reduced minutes in the play-off series opener against the Brooklyn Nets.
“It’s really disappointing for me. You work really hard in the summer and during the season to be ready for situations like this. Just to be hurt is really disappointing. It is what it is. We fought hard to get here, and I think that we’re a very capable team. It’s going to be an exciting series against Brooklyn,” he told the media as reported by NBA.com.
Noah missed 12 of the Bulls’ past 15 games dealing with plantar fasciitis, but did receive some hope having played 14 minutes in each of their last two regular season games.
However, he revealed that he has a tear in his foot and wished that he had managed his minutes better during the regular season, where he felt he should have rested rather than played through the pain.
Nazr Mohammed is set to start at center in his place for Game 1 in Brooklyn, while coach Tom Thibodeau says that Noah will be classified as day-to-day.
Mohammed has proven to be a valuable replacement in recent games, with the 14-year veteran playing well with extended minutes. He had 17 points and seven rebounds in 22 minutes against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday, and 16 points and 13 rebounds in a season-high 43 minutes against the Toronto Raptors on April 12.
The Bulls will hope to have Noah back at some stage of the post season, as he has demonstrated his All-Star level throughout the campaign. However, it will come as a frustrating blow for all concerned as injuries continue to weaken their championship push.