In the first game of the preseason against Indiana, Joakim Noah spent it talking trash to the Pacers bigs in the comfort of a blazer and jeans from the bench.
It’s a spot he might want to get comfortable with for the next week.
Friday afternoon, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau revealed that the groin strain that has kept Noah out of all but one game this preseason was once again acting up. Enough so that the All-Star center is shut back down for at least a week.
“We’re going to shut Jo down,’’ Thibodeau said. “He’s got a little soreness so we want to make sure we get that taken care of, so probably another week or so. We just want to make sure he’s completely healthy before we move forward.
“It’s better, but it’s not where we would like it to be. Like we want it completely healthy where he doesn’t feel it, and right now he’s feeling it, so we have to take care of that.’’
Noah played on Wednesday against the Pistons, putting in just under 20 minutes of work, while scoring two points and grabbing eight rebounds.
It was obvious that he was behind, however, and the latest setback won’t help.
“His feet are really good, so that’s a plus,’’ Thibodeau said, when asked if the plantar fasciitis was an issue since camp started. “Overall, his timing wasn’t great [Wednesday] like it usually is, but defensively his reaction to the ball was terrific and his defense was outstanding, so that part was good. And there are things he can do right now. He’s in the pool, so he’s taking care of his cardio that way, and he’s doing a lot of band work so it’s good.’’
What Noah’s injury could influence, however, is the 13th roster spot. Guard Mike James seemed to have a slight lead, but now center Dexter Pittman might be the choice with Noah iffy for the start of the season.
“I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but it could,’’ Thibodeau said, when asked if it could influence roster decisions. “We’re looking at what our needs are, and as I said, the one good thing is Jo has only played 19 minutes in the preseason. It has given us a look at Nazr [Mohammed], Taj [Gibson], Murph [Erik Murphy], and we also know that we have Luol [Deng] who can go to the four, Jimmy [Butler] who can go to the four, we have Mike Dunleavy who can go to the four. And that’s what I like about this team, the versatility. We’re still evaluating, and in the end we’ll do what’s best for the team.’’
As far as Derrick Rose, he is a full go tonight against the Pacers.
“I feel like I’m there now,’’ Rose said Friday. “I haven’t had any setbacks. I was sore, but that was the game I missed in Rio and they made the decision to sit me out, so I couldn’t complain about that. Get as much rest as I could and I got as much rest as I could, and tonight, give it a go. Tonight, try to win this game.’’