CHICAGO -- On the official injury release the Bulls sent out in advance of Wednesday's game against the Brooklyn Nets, All-Star center Joakim Noah was listed as "out" because of continuing problems with his right ankle. But when asked after Wednesday's shootaround whether it was just the ankle that was bothering Noah, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau acknowledged there was another lingering issue at play.
"He's still working through the knee as well," Thibodeau said.
While those close to Noah insist that structurally his left knee, the one he had arthroscopic surgery on right after the season, is fine, the fact that Thibodeau continues to acknowledge it as an issue is cause for concern. Thibodeau has remained hopeful throughout the year that it wouldn't be a long-term issue, but even he doesn't seem to be sure. With the ankle injury compounding Noah's injury woes in the last week, it will be something to keep an eye on for the foreseeable future.
As for rookie Doug McDermott, Thibodeau said that he had an MRI on his right knee, but was unclear on the results.
"It's day to day," Thibodeau said. "We want to see how it's going to respond, to see if it improves. I'm not sure on that one."
McDermott has been out for over a week after his knee swelled up following the Bulls' 15-day road trip.
The Bulls come into Wednesday's game with a 2-5 home record, and power forward Taj Gibson admitted that Thibodeau has been on his players even more than usual the last couple of days in practice.
"Practice the last few days was tough," Gibson said. "You could tell on everybody's face everybody was kind of pissed. But we needed that. We kind of got away from our defensive ways and he was really on us and it was a good couple days of practice."