Marco Belinelli hurts ankle, stays in game

INDIANAPOLIS -- Chicago Bulls guard Marco Belinelli injured his right ankle during the first quarter of Monday's 111-101 loss to the Indiana Pacers but managed to score 24 points and is confident he will be all right.

The injury originally occurred with 2:47 left in the first quarter when Belinelli knocked down a 3-pointer and was fouled by Pacers guard Orlando Johnson. Belinelli came down awkwardly and put no weight on the ankle. He stayed in the game to knock down the free throw but then was immediately taken back to the locker room for further examination. He came back in the second quarter but was noticably dragging the ankle in the second half and in the postgame locker room.

"That's the kind of thing that can happen to you during the game," Belinelli said. "I just tried to play hard and win the game. I think we played a pretty good game, we fought all the 48 minutes, but it wasn't enough so we just need to come back home, get our rest and be ready for the next game."

Belinelli believes he will be able to play Thursday night against the Denver Nuggets.

"I think so," he said. "I'm going to have treatment (Tuesday), I'm going to have treatment right now on the plane and we'll see ... I'm going to try to do my best to play."

Belinelli is the latest in a list of banged-up Bulls. Joakim Noah (foot) and Kirk Hinrich (elbow) sat out on Monday while Carlos Boozer played after missing three games with a hamstring injury. Derrick Rose hasn't played this season as he continues to recuperate from a torn ACL.