Taj Gibson reportedly didn’t tear MCL

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Taj Gibson recently injured the same knee that kept him out 10 games earlier this season, but the Bulls received some good – or at least non-terrible – news. Nick Friedell of ESPN:

An MRI on the left knee of Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson showed no tear of the same sprained MCL that caused him to miss 10 games earlier this season, and he will be re-evaluated on Thursday, a source said.

It’s uncertain how long Gibson will be out, the source said.

Gibson is very important to the Bulls’ defense – they allow only 97.4 points per 100 possession with him, the team’s best on-court number – but he’s also essential to keeping one of Chicago’s top offensive players on the court.

Gibson has played more minutes with Nate Robinson than any other teammate (69 percent of Gibson’s minutes). For all his defensive strides, Robinson is still limited on that end by his height, but Gibson is one of the league’s best at protecting his guards defensively.

Robinson is the only Bull with an effective field-goal percentage above 50, and considering Chicago ranks 29th in that stat (ahead of only the Bobcats), Robinson needs minutes. He’s a fearless scorer on a team that often struggles to make shots. Those minutes will be much smoother if they’re with Gibson.