Boden, Sam break down Bulls before All-Star break
DEERFIELD -- First, the good news: Bulls All-Star center Joakim Noah expects to play in Monday night's matchup with the Spurs at the United Center.
Now, the bad news: The plantar fasciitis in his right foot likely won't be going anywhere anytime soon.
"That's definitely what it comes down to, just pain tolerance. Everybody reacts to it differently," Noah said after the team's Sunday afternoon practice at the Berto Center. "It's frustrating because I want to be out there in practice, I want to be out there for my teammates. Just got to do what's right."
While he expects to suit up against the Spurs, Noah was basically an observer during Sunday's session.
"I didn't do much today. Got on the stationary bike and watched practice, so I'll see how it feels tomorrow and be ready to go," he said. "It hasn't been feeling too bad. It hasn't gotten any worse, so I'm happy about that."
With his debut appearance in the NBA All-Star Game only a week away, Noah didn't completely dismiss the possibility of playing limited minutes in Houston -- a la fellow All-Star Luol Deng last year, though it should be noted that his teammate's coach was one Tom Thibodeau, who had an vested interest in protecting the small forward's ailing wrist and limited him to approximately six minutes of action in Orlando.
"It's pretty important. It's not that important, but it's something that I want to do. But I also have to do what's right for the team. There's obviously a bigger picture than playing in the All-Star Game," he explained. "You've just got to live in the moment. That's not really what I'm thinking about. I'm more worried about the next game, San Antonio. It's pretty important, so just take it one game at a time and when it comes, we'll see."
Thibodeau, not known for looking ahead, admitted that there is a possibility that if Noah's condition worsens, there could be a conversation about the center's participation in the exhibition affair being restricted.
"I'll worry about that when he gets there, but I just want him to take care of himself, get ready for San Antonio. It's a valid question. We'll see where he is after these next two games," the Bulls head coach said. "I think it's premature at this point, but we'll see where he is at the end of the week."