DEERFIELD —After missing Saturday’s Bulls home win over Atlanta, Carlos Boozer’s health is improving, but the power forward isn’t sure when he’ll return to game action.
Boozer has a sore right knee, an injury suffered in last Thursday’s victory over Boston at the United Center, causing him to miss practice the following day and the Hawks game, the first contest he’s missed all season. While he didn’t participate in Tuesday’s practice at the Berto Center, aside from shooting, Boozer indicated that his absence is more of a precautionary measure than anything.
“It’s all right, hanging in there, getting better,” he explained after the session. “We’ll see how it feels tomorrow, day-to-day. I don’t think it’ll be a long-term thing.
“I don’t think it’ll be a long-term thing. Hopefully by the end of the week I’ll be back out there. If not tomorrow, then Friday,” Boozer went on to say. “I just don’t want it to linger. Exactly. I don’t want it to be one of those lingering things. We’re doing great right now, trying to make a move, get up in the East a little bit and I don’t want it to be something that hangs on for the next three or four weeks.”
As far as when it occurred against the Celtics, Boozer wasn’t positive about the specific timing of it, but still attempted to piece together a timeline for the assembled media.
“There was a play in the third quarter. I started to run down the court early in the third quarter. I just felt it feeling funny and then just played through it,” he recounted. “The next day, it was real sore, real bad, a little bit pain, got an MRI and everything was negative, thank God and now I just strengthen it, getting the pain out of there.”
The present situation notwithstanding, Boozer has been remarkably durable for the Bulls, missing only three games last season and none during the 2011-12 lockout-shortened campaign. Perhaps because his absence isn’t expected to be an extended one, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau didn’t seem overly concerned about Boozer’s ailment.
“We’ll see where he is tomorrow,” said the coach, who also gave All-Star small forward Luol Deng the day off, simply for rest purposes. “He’s better today than he was yesterday.”