Bulls' Noah not sure he'll be back for opener vs. Heat

Bulls' Noah not sure he'll be back for opener vs. Heat

October 23, 2013, 9:15 pm
Share This Post
Mark Strotman

Joakim Noah wants to make sure his groin injury isn't something that lingers into the season, so he's taking all precautions to get healed up. That's the good news.

That bad news is that approach could mean Noah misses the Bulls' regular-season opener in Miami against the defending champion Heat on Oct. 29.

Noah, who is battling through a groin injury and was shut down by the team last week, has not recovered as quickly as expected and missed his third straight preseason game Wednesday as the Bulls took on the Oklahoma City Thunder in Wichita, Kan.

""It sucks. There's nothing more that I want than to be out there on the court but it's part of the process. A little groin injury, I just have to be smart," Noah told reporters before Wednesday's game. "I feel a lot better and I'm just going to keep going [rehabbing] until I feel comfortable being out there."

[MORE: Mutual appreciation felt between Durant, Thibodeau]

Noah said he is evaluated daily by team trainers and the rest of the coaching staff, but with less than a week until the Bulls' opener, there's a chance he's in a suit, not a uniform, when the Bulls play the Heat.

"It's possible, but I'm not there yet," Noah said. "My mind, I'm playing and I want to be out there as soon as I can. So we'll see when that is."

Jimmy Butler, who had missed three games with a knee injury, returned to the lineup Wednesday night. Kirk Hinrich (concussion) remains out.