Updates From Friday, March 7
According to the Bulls' official Twitter feed, Noah won't miss time from his injury:
Per Tom Thibodeau, Joakim Noah has a thumb sprain but is good to go for tonight. #MEMvsCHI— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) March 7, 2014
There was worry after the star center, who tore ligaments in the same thumb during the 2010-11 season, suffered the injury on Wednesday night, but initial tests, according to ESPN's Nick Friedell, have revealed only a sprain:
Initial tests on Noah's thumb showed a sprain, according to a league source. Should get another update tomorrow from Thibs.— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) March 7, 2014
It's still unclear whether or not Noah will miss any time, but it seems safe to say he'll be fine in the long-term for the Bulls, who entered Thursday night fourth place in the East.
And having him healthy will be massively important. Head coach Tom Thibodeau talked about Noah's superstar-caliber play after he recorded his second triple-double in three games and third of the season on Wednesday, via the Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson:
He's been on a roll now for a long time. We need it. He's a leader. The thing about Jo is he can beat you a lot of different ways. Sometimes it's the defense and rebounding. Sometimes it's the passing. Sometimes it's his scoring.
Noah, one of the best rebounders in the league, is averaging 12.0 points, 11.4 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.4 blocks per contest. His PER currently sits at what would be a career-high 19.7.
Chicago has the benefit of frontcourt depth, as Taj Gibson has played like a star when forced into the starting lineup this season.
But it appears as though Noah will be fine.