HOUSTON — Kirk Hinrich is “not likely” to play in the Bulls’ game Wednesday against the Rockets due to his lingering back injury, the veteran point guard said before the team’s morning shootaround at the Toyota Center.
Addressing the media for the first time since missing the Bulls’ last two games — both losses — Hinrich revealed that he suffered the injury during last Friday’s win in Milwaukee, the team’s last victory.
“The whole second half of the Milwaukee game, it was really bothering me. It’s been something that’s kind of been talking to me for a week or so. I’ve been getting extra work, trying to stay on top of it. I just ended up after the game, my back really locking up, spasming up, and just been working on it, trying to get it right since,” he explained. “Well, initially there was virtually very little movement, very painful. Got a lot of work done in treatment and stuff. Moving better, but still very, very sore. Still very limited in my movements. Just getting hammered in treatment, get as ready as soon as I can.”
In a comment Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau probably wouldn’t approve of, Hinrich acknowledged that he’s unlikely to suit up Wednesday, meaning that the team’s newest acquisition, D.J. Augustin, could see the bulk of the minutes at point guard against the Rockets.
“Right now, I would have to improve between now and then so it’s probably not likely. Like I said, one of those things where we’re just trying to stay on top of it, get it back to where I can go out there and play decent to help the team,” Hinrich said. “Obviously I would like to play tonight. If it was game-time now, I wouldn’t be able to play. Just stay on top of it and not ruling anything out. Keep getting work done to get better.”
Houston is without the services of top reserves Jeremy Lin and Omer Asik — the former Bulls center is reportedly set to be traded in the near future — but All-Star shooting guard James Harden told reporters he plans to play against the Bulls.