Joakim Noah will play through smaller injuries, sometimes to the point that they worsen and worsen until he has to sit an extended period of time (he’s done that with plantar fasciitis, for example).
With this being preseason, the Bulls aren’t taking that chance. Noah has battled a sore groin through training camp so he has had a limited role, and just made his preseason debut on Wednesday.
Now they are going to shut him down for a week again, coach Tom Thibodeau announced (via Bulls.com).
“We’re going to shut Jo down,” Thibodeau said following the team’s shootaround at the United Center. “He’s got a little soreness (in his groin) so we want to make sure we get that taken care of. So probably another week or so. We just want to make sure he’s completely healthy before we move forward.”
Smart money says you don’t see Noah until opening night for the Bulls (Oct. 29 in Miami).
This kind of precaution needs to be a pattern. The Bulls are potential contenders, a threat to the Heat in the East, but they have to be healthy come the playoffs. That means Thibodeau needs to curb his instinct to play guys extended minutes in January to beat the Bobcats — Noah, Derrick Rose and Luol Deng all need reasonable minutes and maybe some nights off. Error on the side of caution.
The Bulls are going to have a strong regular season, but that is not where their success will be measured. So get Noah his rest.