Joakim Noah had full participation in practice Wednesday, and though the Bulls officially listed him as questionable, Noah said it’s “likely” he’ll return Thursday to face the Knicks, a sentiment echoed by coach Tom Thibodeau.
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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."
The Bulls are 3-1 during Noah’s absence due to lingering soreness in his right ankle. Noah had averaged 12.7 points, 9.7 rebounds and 5.3 assists in the three games before he sat, during which he rolled the ankle twice.
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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.
The Bulls also listed Taj Gibson as questionable with a new right ankle injury, but Gibson also practiced fully.
The Bulls are among the league leaders with an average of 105.6 points at home while New York ranks near the bottom of the NBA with 103.8 allowed per game on the road.
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