SAN ANTONIO — Nothing is surprising when it comes to the Bulls and their litany of absences this season, so when Carlos Boozer wasn’t at Tueasday’s practice at the AT&T Center, it was easy to assume the worst.
However, while the power forward didn’t travel with the team to San Antonio, it wasn’t because of any ailment, but a “personal matter,” according to a team spokesman and he is expected to arrive in town Wednesday for that evening’s matchup with the Spurs.
Fellow starter Rip Hamilton also didn’t make the trip and that absence was indeed due to an injury, as the veteran shooting guard continues to deal with lower back spasms.
His starting backcourt mate, Kirk Hinrich, was present, but his prognosis for the Spurs game doesn’t look good, despite Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau’s vague assessment of the situation.
“He’s still day-to-day,” the coach said before the practice session. “We’ll see where he is.”
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Hinrich was more descriptive about his right-foot injury, which literally occurred overnight, between the conclusion of Saturday’s home win over Brooklyn and Sunday’s loss at Indiana.
“I have a bunch of swelling in my foot. Just having trouble putting any sort of pressure on it. They didn’t really give me a timetable, as far as when I’ll return. It’s just a matter of the pain getting better and the swelling going down,” he explained. “It started Saturday night. My foot was hurting. I was having trouble sleeping. It was throbbing. I woke up in the morning, it was swollen and I couldn’t put much pressure on it.
“Just try to ride the bike. Right now, I’m having trouble putting any type of pressure on it, even when I walk, on the side of my foot,” continued the point guard, when asked about his anticipated level of participation Tuesday, as he was seated on a stationary bike. “The [walking] boot, that’s huge. That’s the only way I’ve really been able to get around the last couple of days. The boot’s good. It protects the foot. If I take my boot off, it’s pretty painful getting around.”
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When asked about whether he believed that he’d be able to play in Wednesday’s contest, Hinrich wasn’t optimistic.
“I wish. I don’t know,” said the veteran, who’s suffered seven separate injuries this season. “It just has to improve a lot from today to tomorrow.”
His backup, Nate Robinson, is dealing with a left-rib injury, which occurred in the second half of Saturday’s win and limited him in Sunday’s defeat.
“It was a tweak, I think,” Thibodeau said, before explaining why he stuck with rookie point guard Marquis Teague in the fourth quarter of the loss to the Pacers. “It was the way the game was going, actually. We were searching the group that was out there was playing well. I knew he was banged up a little bit, so it was that and the way the group was playing.”
Robinson himself didn’t divulge much more, telling CSNChicago.com, “I’m cool,” when questioned about the injury.
Although he won’t play Wednesday, Taj Gibson made the trip to San Antonio and Thibodeau believes his top reserve making progress in recovering from a sprained left MCL.
“Day-to-day, improving,” he said. “We’ll see where he is.”