Joakim Noah has been playing for several weeks now with an injured thumb. Both he and the Bulls however have deemed it necessary now to undergo surgery in order to be ready for the playoffs. The center is expected to miss up to 8-10 weeks of action which would put him out until March.
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Noah has been a huge factor in the Bulls’ improvement this season averaging 14 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks a night. He ranks 5th in the NBA in boards, and is one of the best defenders in the league. His loss is a big one for Chicago. The Bulls are projected to be about four games worse without Noah in the lineup for 10 weeks, but luckily the Central division and the teams behind them are relatively week. They are still projected to maintain their 4th position in the East.
Chicago only had Carlos Boozer and Noah together for nine games winning the last seven in a row. Luckily the upcoming schedule lightens up now for the Bulls, and the timeline for recovery should allow for at least a month of games to re-assimilate Noah in preparation for the playoffs.