Hinrich injured his groin in a preseason contest against the Oklahoma City Thunder, while also suffering a thumb injury a few games earlier. Coach Tom Thibodeau hesitated to rule out Hinrich until the last minute on Friday, in his customary “game-time” manner.
Missing the preseason game isn’t just rest for the groin, as Hinrich stated he wasn’t sure if could’ve played had the regular season started Friday.
“I don’t know,” Hinrich said to ESPNChicago.com. “My goal right now is just to try to get as healthy as I can be. Right now, that’s all I’m focused on. I don’t know if (I could have been ready) to play if (Friday) was a regular season game or not to be honest.”
The veteran point guard figures to play huge minutes for Chicago while Derrick Rose recovers from ACL surgery. Hinrich has averaged nine points and six assists this preseason, while facilitating the offense well despite a two-year absence from the Bulls.
Hinrich’s early injuries have to be a concern for Chicago, who are very thin at the guard position until Rose returns. The Bulls also acquired veteran guard Nate Robinson in the offseason, who has looked good in the preseason but will play an important sparkplug-role off the bench. Robinson will draw the start on Wednesday if Hinrich is still unable to go.
The Bulls also drafted guard Marquis Teague in the first round of the 2012 NBA Draft, but the former NCAA champion has looked lost in the preseason, and does not look capable of running the offense if injuries should occur.
The Bulls open up the regular season Wednesday against the Sacramento Kings.
Zach Mink covers the Chicago Bulls for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @zachmink12 for more news and analysis.