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Bulls’ Kirk Hinrich out vs. Warriors on Friday night

Updated: March 15, 2013 7:23PM



OAKLAND, Calif. – Kirk Hinrich was feeling pretty good about himself after the Thursday afternoon practice. Good enough to declare himself a likely starter heading into the game against Golden State on Friday night.

Bad idea.

After all, as snake-bitten as the Bulls point guard has been on the injury front this season, there’s no such thing as feeling good about himself at this point.

Hinrich was once again a spectator, as the stress reaction in his right foot had a setback following the practice at Oracle Arena, and making his return to the court once again nothing more than cloudy speculation.

It for sure wouldn’t come against the Warriors.

“At least I know where I’m at just with that little level of activity, and still have a little ways to go, I guess,’’ Hinrich explained. “I want to get out there as soon as I can, but it’s pretty lit up. It was lit up [Thursday] night and [Friday] morning, so just keep doing the things they are telling me to do, and hopefully it will be better as soon as possible.’’

The sooner the better, as far as head coach Tom Thibodeau was concerned.

Missing the game against the Warriors was the 21st game without Hinrich this season. That meant 7.4 points and 5.4 assists per game. No big deal, right?

Wrong.

Going into the game with Golden State, the Bulls were just 6-14 without Hinrich in the starting lineup.

“He just runs the team,’’ Thibodeau said of Hinrich. “That sets the tone for our defense and offense, keeps us organized on both ends. When you look at what he’s done when he’s been out there the team has functioned very, very well. The issue has been the injuries.’’

And not your typical injuries, either. Evident by the fact that he missed 10 games because of a cut on his elbow that became infected.

“I’ve just been in and out,’’ Hinrich said. “The elbow thing was tough because it really wasn’t a real injury in my mind, it was kind of a freak deal. [The foot] is just one of these things where it’s just going to take some time for the bone to heal, and I just have to take my time to where I can get back to the point where I can help the team.’’



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