Posted by Matt Moore
Joakim Noah does plan to play against the Raptors Wednesday, but there are storm clouds on the knuckle-shaped horizon. Noah's battling a hand issue that he's had for weeks. From the Chicago Tribune:
Noah has been battling sore knuckles and tendons on his right hand for weeks. He has been taping his knuckles. The Tribune reported late Tuesday that management has held internal discussions about resting Noah, whose situation hasn't improved. Surgery has not been ruled out, if that becomes necessary to fix the problem.via Bulls' Rose, Noah planning to play vs. Raptors - Chicago Breaking Sports.
There's a report stating that the Bulls are "concerned" there may be ligament damage in his hand which would necessitate surgery, resulting in him missing eight weeks of play or more. This comes just as Carlos Boozer had returned from his broken hand and the Bulls are starting to mesh into the power they were expected to be. But losing Noah for an extended period of time would be a crushing loss that would hurt them in an area they can't afford to lose players at. Omer Asik is fine for spot duty, but a lineup of Carlos Boozer and Taj Gibson would be overmatched by nearly any team with a legit center.
With the Bulls focused on defense under Tom Thibodeau, rebounding is fairly important and losing one of the best rebounders in the league would be, what's the word? Oh, yeah, bad.