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Bulls' Noah to rest injured groin

The SportsXchange

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah will sit out for a week to rest and rehab his injured groin.

The all-star saw his first game action of the preseason on Wednesday night against the Detroit Pistons and felt some discomfort.

"We're going to shut Jo down," coach Tom Thibodeau said Friday. "He's got a little soreness, so we want to make sure we get that taken care of. Probably another week or so, but we just want to make sure he's completely healthy before we move forward."

The Bulls open the regular season on Oct. 29 against the Miami Heat.

"It's better, but it's not where we'd like it to be," Thibodeau said. "We want it completely healthy where he's doesn't feel it, and right now he's still feels it, so we got to take care of that.

"We want him to focus on the rehab right now; just continue to put everything you have into the rehab. He's close. We'll see where he is in a week. Because of where we are in the season too, we want to make sure that it's completely healed."

One bit of good news is the foot problems that plagued Noah in the past do not appear to be an issue.

"His feet are really good, so that's a plus," Tibuodeau said. "Overall, I thought his timing wasn't great offensively (on Wednesday), like it normally is, but defensively his reaction time to the ball was terrific and his defense was outstanding, so that part is good.

"There's things he can do right now. He's in the pool, so he's taking care of his cardio that way, and he's doing a lot of band work and things like that, so it's good."

The 28-year-old Noah played in 66 of the Bulls' 82 regular-season games last season and averaged 11.9 points and 11.1 rebounds.

Noah's health could impact the Bulls' roster decisions coming out of the preseason.

"We're looking at what our needs are," Thibodeau said. "The one good thing: Jo's only played (20) minutes so far in the preseason. So it has given us a look at Nazr (Mohammed), Taj (Gibson), Murph (Erik Murphy), and we also know we have Luol (Deng), who can go to the 4, we have Jimmy (Butler), who can go to the 4, and we have Mike Dunleavy, who can go to the 4.

"That's what I like about our team is the versatility. We're still evaluating. In the end, we'll do what we think is best for the team."
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