The Bulls finally got a bit of good news on the injury front Tuesday. Before the game with the New Jersey Nets at the United Center, Kirk Hinrich said his sprained left thumb has improved, and there's a chance he could play tonight when the Bulls face the Atlanta Hawks on the road.
The veteran guard has missed the last six games, leaving the Bulls' backcourt rotation thin and causing starters Derrick Rose and John Salmons to log heavy minutes.
Hinrich suffered the injury during a practice in Portland, Ore., on Nov. 25.
He missed more than two months last season when he suffered a torn ligament in his right thumb that required surgery.
Hinrich feared he had torn a ligament when this year's injury occurred but was relieved to learn it was only a sprain.
Still, he has been frustrated of late that the injury has been slow to heal but was more upbeat Tuesday.
''It's better,'' he said.
For an insignificant odd play, Toronto's Jarrett Jack stopping to tie his shoe while holding the ball during the third quarter of the Raptors' win at the UC on Saturday has caused a stir.
That much was assured when Raptors coach Jay Triano took a shot at the Bulls when he said: "If it was one of our guys guarding their guy and the guy tied his shoe, I would expect our guy to go over and knock him on his [butt]."
As you might suspect, that quote didn't sit well with Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro.
''I don't talk about other teams' coaches or players,'' Del Negro said. ''I don't think that's right. I have enough concerns. I think everyone should just stick with comments about their own team.''
Del Negro said the reason no one pressured Jack was because Luol Deng had his head turned while he was trying to make a defensive switch with Jannero Pargo.
Bulls AT Hawks
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