Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg admitted to reporters that he was thinking about re-inserting Joakim Noah into the team's starting lineup, and a couple of hours before tip-off against the 76ers on Monday, he made the decision final.
Noah will likely get his chance to be a starter again when he returns to action, but how long it stays that way is anyone's guess. Hoiberg has made it clear that he'll continue to tinker with lineups until he finds the most potent combinations, so Noah's place in the starting lineup may only be a temporary solution.
“You don't plan on these things,” Noah said. “I wasn't expecting it. I've been feeling great up to this point, and it just happened. I don't think it's [anything] too serious, but it was definitely a situation where I had to be smart. I wanted to play tonight really bad.”
In years past, Noah might have tried to play through the injury, but after offseason left knee surgery a year and a half ago, Noah has been noticeably more cautious regarding his health. The good news for the Bulls is Noah said he is not scheduled to have an MRI on the surgically repaired left knee.
“I was thinking about [playing],” he said. “It's been bothering me since this morning, but I don't think it's [anything] too serious. I think I made the right decision.”