Boozer to miss 4th straight game, Noah returns

Boozer to miss 4th straight game, Noah returns
March 17, 2011, 4:51 pm
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Thursday, March 17, 2011
Posted: 11:45 a.m.

By Aggrey Sam
CSNChicago.com

NEWARKCarlos Boozer will miss his fourth consecutive game with a sprained left ankle.

The ankle isnt ready yet. It is getting better, though, Boozer said after Thursdays practice at the Prudential Center. I tried to do a little bit more, but its not ready yet.

While Boozer wont suit up for Thursdays Bulls road game against the Nets, he didnt rule out the possibility that he could play in Fridays game against the Pacers in Indianapolis.

Well see. Its tough, but at the same time, I know its getting better. Im just waiting for it to heal up so I can get back out there, said the power forward. Theres still a lot of pain, still bugging me a little bit, but its getting better day by day.

The swelling in the ankle is still there, but its coming down.

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With the season in the stretch-run stage and the Bulls looking forward to a potential deep playoff run, caution is key, as Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau has consistently talked about the team being healthy toward the end of the regular season.

Hes getting better each day and we want to be smart. We dont want this thing to be reoccurring. We want him completely healthy before he plays. Hes getting better and better each day, so whether its today, tomorrow, a week from now, its when hes 100 percent because I dont want this injury lingering, said Thibodeau. Its the smart thing to do right now because of where we are in the season.

I just dont want it to be where he comes back, plays a game, then he has to sit a game, play a game.

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Meanwhile, Bulls center Joakim Noah will return for Thursdays matchup after missing Tuesdays home win over Washington due to illness.

Noah said his energy level for the Nets game would be all right, but more notable is the fact that the contest will be his first without a bandage to protect his right thumb, which he had surgery on in December, causing him to miss 30 games.

It feels all right, feels pretty good, said Noah. Im not going to play with the bandage anymore.

Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.com's Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.