Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (thumb) out vs. Knicks
Butler injured his thumb on October 19 and missed Chicago's final preseason game. The Bulls said he would miss two to four weeks with the injury, but Butler said at shootaround on Wednesday that he is hoping to play on Friday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Coach Tom Thibodeau said Butler could miss one to three more weeks and the team does not have a precise timetable for his return.
"No one knows, that’s the thing," Thibodeau said of Butler's absence. "Two to four (weeks), one to three, I don’t know what it is. He’s not comfortable going yet, so when he is, he will. We know that he wants to be out there, and injuries are a part of the game. Just deal with it."
Butler averaged 13.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.9 steals per game last season for the Bulls. Entering his fourth season, he has a Friday deadline to sign a contract extension with Chicago or he will become a restricted free agent in 2015.
- Alexander Melnick