Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah suffered a left shoulder injury in the third quarter of Monday night’s game against the Brooklyn Nets and didn’t return. The injury was diagnosed as a sprain and Noah will be reevaluated on Tuesday.
The injury occurred when Noah tried to swipe at the ball during a Andrea Bargnani drive to the basket:
Noah was clearly in a lot of pain, and the first thing many people thought of was Kevin Love’s injury in the postseason last year that required surgery and kept him out until this preseason. The Bulls big man said he felt his shoulder pop out, although doctors pushed it back in and X-rays were negative.
Noah and the Bulls can only hope this injury isn’t that serious. While the big man really struggled to start the year, he’s been starting to find his groove on both ends of the floor. He had four points, eight rebounds and eight assists before getting hurt against the Nets, and he’s consistently done a good job initiating offense for Chicago’s second unit.
If Noah does have to miss a lot of time, that would open up more minutes for rookie Bobby Portis, but nobody wants Portis to get minutes because of a key injury to somebody else. The rookie impressed in his first big action against the New York Knicks on Saturday and was put in the rotation against Brooklyn.