Joakim Noah says thumb feels OK


CHICAGO -- Joakim Noah wore a taped wrap over his ailing right thumb, but he said he will play through any pain he may have.

"It was cool," he said of Thursday's checkup, which revealed a sprain. "I got an MRI. I'm good."

Noah tore ligaments in the same thumb during the 2010-11 season and tried to play through the pain but ultimately had to have surgery a few weeks later. He missed two months.

He does not believe the problems are the same, and Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said he was confident Noah's thumb ligaments are structurally intact.

"It's the same thumb, that's about it," Noah said. "We don't have to cut into it. No surgery. Everything's good. I feel good. I'm all right."

Noah went through all of shootaround and Thibodeau is confident he'll remain in the lineup.

"He's good," Thibodeau said. "It's just a sprain. He's fine."

Thibodeau understands that players have to play through injuries at this point in the season. He did not seem concerned that Noah's injury would hamper him in any way.

"I think at this time in the year every player in nicked up in some way," he said. "And then, do you have the toughness to get past it? And he certainly does, so he's got to get out there -- he's done a great job of leading the team. But we need everybody ... from a medical standpoint, the ligament was fine so that was the positive thing about that."