Joakim Noah says foot feeling better

Joakim Noah hopes to put his foot injury issues behind him next season. Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK -- Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah, who was plagued by plantar fasciitis in his right foot at the end of last season, says he’ll be ready to play by the start of the 2013-14 campaign.

“My foot feels a lot better, but I still have a lot of work to do,” Noah told ESPN NewYork.com Wednesday at the “Steve Nash Foundation Showdown,” a charity soccer game in Manhattan. “I’m still not 100 percent, but I feel pretty good and I’ll be ready at the beginning of the season.”

Noah, 28, gutted through the injury during the playoffs and didn’t miss a game because of it. He averaged 10.8 points and 9.6 rebounds during the postseason in 34.1 minutes per contest.

"It really sucks," Noah said during the team’s first-round series against the Brooklyn Nets. "Plantar fasciitis sucks. It feels like you have needles underneath your foot while you're playing. That's what it feels like. You can imagine; you need to jump, you need to run, you need to do a lot of things while you're playing basketball, so you don't want needles on your feet, right?"

Noah has dealt with plantar fasciitis for years. It caused him to miss 12 of the last 15 games during this past regular season.

"We're trying to figure (out how to prevent more foot problems)," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said on ESPN Chicago 1000 back in June. "He needs rest right now to get completely healthy, and then we're going to look at the possibility of doing some corrective exercises, and things like that.

"So we'll look at the entire picture, but the main thing is to make sure he gets completely healthy this summer."

Noah was named MVP of the soccer game after scoring the game-winning goal late in the second half.

“It’s amazing. It’s a cool event. Steve does a great job with his charity. He does a great job for the kids, supporting education for the kids. And to be able to do it in the middle of New York City like this, it’s really cool,” Noah said.