By Cody Westerlund–
(CBS) The Bulls got a dose of good news on the health front Monday.
All-Star big man Pau Gasol will return to the starting lineup after missing the past four games with right knee swelling.
“Pau’s good to go,” coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He’s going to play. We’ve got a plan to control his minutes, see how he responds to it, but he’s handled two straight days of activity very well. Everybody’s comfortable having him back out there.”
Hoiberg didn’t reveal the exact minutes restriction for Gasol, who admitted Saturday that he doesn’t expect to play at 100 percent health again this season. Monday had been on the early end of the timeline for a return.
“You might think about resting for a game or two at times, but we don’t have that luxury in the situation that we’re in,” Gasol said Saturday. “We got to push through it, sometimes to the limit.”
This will be just the second time this season the Bulls have started Gasol with Taj Gibson, Mike Dunleavy, Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose — their preferred starting lineup ever since Joakim Noah went down with a season-ending shoulder injury. Chicago won its only game with all these players starting.