After a three-game absence following a pregame left-calf strain before a road contest at Golden State, Carlos Boozer will return to the Bulls’ starting lineup for Thursday night’s game against the Nets at the United Center.
“Carlos is good, so he’ll start,” Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said.
The coach was unsure about the power forward’s playing time in his first game back, though he claimed it was unrelated to sixth man Taj Gibson excelling as a starter in Boozer’s absence.
“I don’t know where he’ll be. I’m not really concerned about the injury because I think that part is fine,” Thibodeau said. “But the conditioning part of it, I’m concerned about that.”
Thibodeau also insisted that Gibson’s playing time wouldn’t be affected by Boozer’s return and that both players were essential to the team’s long-term success this season.
“(Gibson’s) minutes are going to be fine. They’re going to be about where they normally are. We had to extend them because obviously you’re losing a big that’s a big part of the team. So his minutes had to go up, and Jo’s minutes had to go up,” he explained. “So we’ll see how it unfolds, but for us to achieve what we want to achieve, Carlos has to play. He’s got a big role on this team.”