Veteran reserve guard Kirk Hinrich will miss Monday night’s preseason game against Milwaukee at the United Center as he recovers from a concussion suffered in the fourth quarter of Friday’s Bulls home win over Indiana.
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Following the Bulls’ morning shootaround Monday at the United Center, Hinrich said that he’s been going through the NBA’s concussion protocol in preparation for an eventual return.
“Yeah, I’ve been doing the tests every day. I’m feeling much better. I hope to be out there as soon as I’m allowed to,” he said. “The tests are fairly new. I feel fine. I’m just following the proper protocol.”
Hinrich, who said he had suffered concussions previously in his career—both in college and the NBA—said he didn’t know exactly when he would return to the lineup.
“I’m just doing what they’re telling me to do,” said the floor general, who suffered the injury when the back of his head connected with Bulls rookie Erik Murphy’s knee. “I’m assuming I’ll hopefully get to do some cardio and stuff tonight and go from there.”
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Joining Hinrich on the sideline Monday will be starting shooting guard Jimmy Butler, who will miss his third consecutive game with a bruised left knee, suffered in the Bulls’ exhibition contest against Washington in Brazil. Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said Butler was held out of Monday morning’s session and that his status wasn’t improving.
“[Butler] practiced [Sunday],” said the coach. “But he was sore today.”
All-Star center Joakim Noah will also sit out Monday, as he recovers from a lingering strained-groin injury.
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Bulls point guard Derrick Rose said that despite several players missing games during the exhibition campaign, he was optimistic about the team developing chemistry prior to their Oct. 29 regular-season opener in Miami.
“It’s hard but you can’t use it as an excuse. You still have to come out here and play these games, try to get better as a team still. They’re on the sideline working. Kirk is getting back healthy, Joakim’s good, and we’re just waiting,” he explained. “We should be fine. The guys, they know their jobs. When they came in, Jimmy when he did play, his defense is what we need out of him. Joakim is energy and Kirk is going to bring a solid game with running the team and knocking down open shots, so I think all the guys on the team know their roles. It’s just that we have to get them out there.”