NBA

Bulls guard Hinrich questionable for Game 5

04/29 4:36 AM

The Chicago Bulls' Kirk Hinrich is questionable for Game 5 against the Brooklyn Nets with a bruised calf after scoring 18 points and dishing out 14 assists in almost 60 minutes in Saturday's triple-overtime Game 4 victory.

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- The Chicago Bulls' Kirk Hinrich is questionable for Game 5 against the Brooklyn Nets with a bruised calf after scoring 18 points and dishing out 14 assists in almost 60 minutes in Saturday's triple-overtime Game 4 victory.

Hinrich's injury was determined by postgame tests after Saturday's victory, which gave the Bulls a 3-1 series lead.

Joakim Noah, who was supposed to only play about 30 minutes in Game 4, ended up playing almost 40 but coach Tom Thibodeau sounds optimistic about his center's chances to contribute on Monday night in Game 5.

"[Hinrich] got banged up a little bit," Thibodeau said. "Jo I think is OK. So health-wise we're relatively good."

Thibodeau was hesitant to say whether Hinrich would miss any time.

"I don't want to jump to any conclusions," he said. "We'll see where he is [Monday]."

Thibodeau believes Noah, who continues to battle plantar fasciitis in his foot, is feeling better.

"He says he's feeling a lot better," Thibodeau said. "The big thing was from the end of the regular season where he would play and the next day he would be extremely sore. Now he's at the point where he's playing and he doesn't have that same soreness the next day. So that's a big plus for us and he's starting to get his timing back."

If Hinrich is unable to play, look for Thibodeau to insert veteran guard Nate Robinson into the lineup. Robinson had an epic Game 4 performance by scoring 34 points, including 23 in the fourth quarter.

"There's more good to Nate than there is bad," Thibodeau said of coaching the diminutive guard. "He usually responds well. If there's a mistake that occurs along the way ... he's a character but he's a big time catalyst for our team. He makes things happen out there and he's made a lot of big shots for us."

Meanwhile, on the one-year anniversary of Derrick Rose's knee injury, Thibodeau kept open the possibility his star point guard would return at some point in the postseason. When asked if it possible that Rose could play if the Bulls reach the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, Thibodeau responded the same way he has throughout the past few months.

"There's always a chance," he said.

Thibodeau said before the playoffs began that Rose was "most likely out" for the postseason, having not played all season as he continues to recover from ACL surgery, but he is still holding out hope that the guard will return at some point.


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