By Cody Westerlund–
CHICAGO (CBS) — Bulls reserve guard Kirk Hinrich will miss Saturday night’s playoff opener against the Bucks with a hyperextended left knee, coach Tom Thibodeau said.
Hinrich missed the final two games of the regular season with the injury, and he didn’t participate in Saturday morning’s shootaround at the Advocate Center. His status for Game 2 on Monday remains uncertain as well.
“It’s sort of plateaued off, so he’s been stuck for a few days now,” Thibodeau said.
Other than Hinrich, the Bulls will have everyone available. Asked if Derrick Rose will return to playing four stints — he missed the second half of Wednesday’s regular season finale with left knee soreness — Thibodeau responded, “He’s fine.” Thibodeau indicated fatigue, game situation and how Rose is playing will be the deciding factors in how many minutes he plays.
It will mark the first playoff game Rose participates in since he suffered a torn left ACL in Game 1 of a first round series in April 2012, an injury that was the start of a string of health issues for him over the last three seasons.
Rose returned for Chicago’s final five regular-season games after missing the previous 20 while rehabbing after right knee surgery that he underwent on Feb. 27.
“It’s great,” Thibodeau said. “All that he’s been through, just to have him back, this was another tough season that was able to persevere and get through it. He felt fortunate in the end to get a handful of games before the playoffs began for him to just good acclimated again. It’s good to have him back. Obviously, he makes us a different team.”
“He’s fine” were the same words Thibodeau used to describe forward Taj Gibson, who has a left shoulder strain and had a cortisone shot Wednesday.
Bulls big man Joakim Noah added he has “no restrictions” as he deals with left knee troubles and left hamstring tendinitis.