A strained groin could keep Joakim Noah out of the Chicago Bulls' season opener against the Miami Heat on Tuesday.
Noah has played less than 20 minutes in preseason games and just returned to basketball drills on Wednesday after sitting out a week to rest, the Chicago Tribune reported.
"It's basically all straight-ahead stuff," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "He's completely deconditioned, so we're very concerned about that."
Noah acknowledged that he wants to play against the Heat in the opener and that he's feeling better. Still, he's concerned about rushing back and having the injury linger during the long season.
"It's possible," Noah said. "But I'm not there yet. In my mind, I'm playing. I want to be out there as soon as I can. We'll see when that is."
"I have to be smart. It sucks. There's nothing more that I want than to be out there on the court."
Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich also has been sitting out to recover from a concussion. While Thibodeau thinks Hinrich's return for the opener is a long shot, Hinrich believes otherwise.
"I feel better," Hinrich said. "I plan on being out there."