Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said point guard Kirk Hinrich is day-to-day with a groin injury he suffered in last night's win over the Thunder, and is a game-time decision for Fridays preseason finale against the Pacers.
Thibodeau would not reveal much on Hinrichs injury, but did note that the point guard did not have an MRI. The team watched film and shot this afternoon at the Berto Center, so there was not an opportunity for the veteran to test it out.
He should be OK. He just tweaked it so well see, Thibodeau said. He said he felt better, so well see.
Hinrich played 15 minutes before injuring himself in the second quarter of the Bulls 94-89 win, scoring eight points and handed out two assists. In five preseason games, Hinrich has averaged 9.4 points and a team-high 5.6 assists per game.
The Bulls open up their regular season at home against the Sacramento Kings on Oct. 31, but Thibodeau said he has not thought that far in advance regarding Hinrichs availability.
Hes better today than he was yesterday, and well see where he is tomorrow, Thibodeau said.
Thibodeau also said he does not believe the team will need to look outside for additional point guard depth, despite the roster being thin following Derrick Roses and Hinrichs injuries.
Im not concerned about that at all, Thibodeau said. Were confident in the guys that we have. The responsibility of management is to awlasy look at how you can improve the team. So theyre constantly doing that, but I like the group that we have here.
Richard Hamilton, who missed time last year with a groin injury, said he was happy Hinrich and the Bulls shut him down in the second half rather than pushing it.
Its tough. A groin can linger. You just want to jump on it as quick as possible. And the one thing that was good with him was he didnt come back and play the second half, Hamilton said. Sometimes your adrenaline will allow you to say, No, I dont want to sit out. Ill figure it out at the end of the game. And thats what most players do and I think (the staff) did a great job of really jumping on it early and saying, Alright, you know what? Shut him down.
Back-up Nate Robinson filled in for Hinrich Tuesday night, playing most of the second half to finish with eight points, four rebounds and four assists. Robinson also filled in for Hinrich last week while Hinrich was held out with a right thumb injury. Robinson scored 23 points and handed out 14 assists as a starter in a home win over the Bucks.
Marquis Teague, who would see additional run if Hinrich is forced to miss time, missed his only shot attempt and grabbed a rebound in four minutes.
Prior to Tuesday nights game in which Hinrich suffered the injury, Thibodeau applauded Hinrichs work ethic this offseason to put in a full work of daily preparation to get his body ready for the season. Hinrich missed 18 games with the Hawks last season, and missed the Hawks playoff run in 2010-11.
Hes been fine thus far. Hes put a lot of work into improving his body, getting healthy, Thibodeau said before last nights game, and hopefully hell remain healthy all season.