Joakim Noah expected back vs. Nets

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Joakim Noah returned to Chicago Bulls practice Wednesday and is expected to start against the New Jersey Nets on Thursday.

Noah missed Tuesday's victory over the Washington Wizards because of flu-like symptoms.

"I think he'll be fine," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "He was back to normal today ... for him."

Also, Carlos Boozer sat out practice but did some light shooting Wednesday.

Boozer missed his third straight game on Tuesday after spraining his left ankle March 9 when he was knocked to the court by the Charlotte Bobcats' Kwame Brown, who was whistled for a flagrant foul.

Kurt Thomas started in place of Boozer. He scored eight points and grabbed 15 rebounds in Chicago's 98-79 win.

"Still day to day," Thibodeau said of Boozer, who will travel with the Bulls to New Jersey and Indiana. "Each day he does a little bit more. But again, we want to be smart about it. We're not going to rush. When he's completely healthy, he'll be back."

Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.