MINNEAPOLIS -- Marco Belinelli missed his third game of the season Sunday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves because of an abdominal strain. Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau did not specify exactly when Belinelli injured himself, but he did say his shooting guard is day to day.
"He's been battling the abdominal muscle strain, he's been battling that for a while," Thibodeau said. "He just couldn't get going today. I was hopeful (he could play) this morning. We did the walk-through right before and then I knew it wasn't looking good."
Thibodeau is hopeful Belinelli will be able to return soon.
"I don't want to speculate," Thibodeau said. "I'm hopeful that in a day or two it will calm down and he'll be OK, but he's day to day, day to day."
The Bulls, who were already playing without Joakim Noah (foot), Derrick Rose (ACL) and Rip Hamilton (back), had another scare in the fourth quarter when Taj Gibson had to be taken out of the game after banging knees with Ricky Rubio. Gibson just returned last Thursday after missing almost a month because of a sprained MCL.
"I got back on D and I just went knee to knee with Ricky," Gibson said. "And it was real painful. I just had to sit out for a while. But I'm a warrior, I asked to go back in and made sure we finished this game on the right foot and it was good."
Gibson was a little scared since the left knee Rubio hit was the same one Gibson injured last month.
"It's ironic how (it happened)," Gibson said. "It's the knee that I hurt. I just tried to make a play on the ball going to the rim and we just collided knees."