TORONTO — Joakim Noah is expected to have surgery on his injured right thumb and may be out up to 10 weeks. The Bulls Center injured his thumb against the Kings in November and has been secretly playing through it since then. The Bulls had concerns that the thumb could have ligament damage and aren’t going to to take any further chances with him playing. Noah’s thumb hasn’t had a chance to heal as every time he plays, it get bumped by either another player or by the basketball itself. At this point the surgery could still be postponed but the Bulls are most likely going to announce the surgery on Thursday.
The Bulls will definitely miss Noah should he miss 10 weeks but will take the hit if it means he’ll be back for the postseason. “We’re disappointed for Jo,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He has put a lot of work in. Even Noah’s teammates were left in the dark about the injury. “He hasn’t said a word about it all year. We’ve all seen the wrap on his hand. You look at it and it’s swollen. You ask how it is and he just says it’s fine.” said Kyle Korver. “He’s a warrior for playing through it.” added Carlos Boozer. In the mean time bench Center Omer Asik will most likely start in his absence but the hole Noah will leave is going to be too big for him to fill.