Joakim Noah says he'll play Thursday

CHICAGO -- Bulls All-Star center Joakim Noah says he will play Thursday night against the New York Knicks after missing the past four games because of lingering issues with his ankle and knee.

Noah, who is still recovering from offseason knee surgery, initially sprained his right ankle on Dec. 2 in a loss to the Dallas Mavericks and then re-sprained it in a win over the Charlotte Hornets on Dec. 3. He played 33 minutes in a loss to the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 5, but has not played since.

"My knee feels good," Noah said. "This is more of my ankle. I think it was good just to get some lifts and just take care of my body during this time, let it heal, and I feel pretty good and I'm excited to be able to play tomorrow."

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Noah went through all of practice and sounded hopeful Noah will be able to contribute against the Knicks.

"I think right before he went down he was playing really well," Thibodeau said. "So hopefully he can get back to that right away. He looked good today so we'll just take it from there."

In other injury news, Bulls rookie Doug McDermott was back at practice Wednesday riding a stationary bike. He had arthroscopic right knee surgery Saturday and is expected to be out 4-to-6 weeks.