Kirk Hinrich’s right-hamstring injury, suffered in last Monday’s Bulls’ overtime home win over the Lakers, will cause the veteran floor general to miss his fourth consecutive game Monday night.
Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said Hinrich is “most likely out” for Monday night’s game against the Timberwolves, a foregone conclusion, since the point guard didn’t participate in the team’s morning shootaround at the United Center. Hinrich, however, will travel on the team’s upcoming six-game Western Conference road trip.
“I’m doing better. I’ve made significant progress, so I’m definitely happy about that. I’m hoping to get better and not have anything linger, and hopefully be able to finish the second half out strong,” Hinrich said. “I’m not going to take anything off the table, be cautious because it’s something I’ve had in the past. But at the same time, just keep pushing myself so I can be ready as soon as possible.”
[TONIGHT ON CSN: Bulls battle Love, Timberwolves]
Hinrich has dealt with hamstring injuries in the past, so he has a feel for when he will be able to suit up again.
“You have a sense, but then, the ultimate test is getting out there and doing a lot of movement. I’ve been doing some spot shooting and some light activity, so it’s been going good. So just going to start to increase the intensity level of the treatment and rehab,” he explained. “It’s frustrating, but you can’t really control it. Just deal with it and move on the best you can. Just try to do everything I can to get healthy and prevent it from happening again.”
In Hinrich’s absence, D.J. Augustin has thrived at point guard and the Bulls’ January success has continued, something the veteran can appreciate from the sidelines.
“[Augustin is] a proven player in this league and he’s always been that type of offensive player. He’s a very good pick-and-roll player, he’s a knockdown shooter and you can’t say enough about how big he’s been for us,” Hinrich said. “It’s fun to watch. Obviously more fun to be a part of. But I’m just glad. It seems like we’re in a great place mentally, playing hard, competing, getting wins. It’s just fun to watch.”