DEERFIELD — Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler is making slow progress toward a return from his turf-toe injury.
Listed as “week-to-week” ahead of the team’s “Circus Trip,” Butler was able to do some running Friday afternoon, according to Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau.
“I don’t know if it’ll be a full week, but he’s got to practice,” Thibodeau said after the team’s practice at the Berto Center. “I don’t know if he’ll practice yet.”
[MORE: Bulls' Noah brings saga of phenom, friend to big screen]
Going by the coach’s usual logic — Thibodeau’s typical standard is that injured players must take contact at practice before returning to the lineup — and ruling out a return in the Bulls’ next game, Saturday night against Detroit at the United Center, that would mean Butler would have to be a full participant in Monday’s practice, prior to the Bulls’ back-to-back set of games Tuesday at home against Milwaukee and Wednesday on the road in New York next week, in order to make a return against the Bucks at the United Center.
[RELATED: Tony Snell redeems himself in win over LeBron James, Heat]
The Bulls have proceeded with caution during Butler’s rehabilitation from the injury, suffered in their Nov. 18 home win over Charlotte, but a silver lining to his absence has been the emergence of rookie Tony Snell, who has filled in as the team’s starting shooting guard.