With Chicago's season a wrap, Joakim Noah underwent a successful arthroscopic procedure on his left knee. He'll be "out" for the next 8-12 weeks, well in time to conduct a typical offseason regimen in anticipation of the 2014-15 season.
The Bulls noted in their official release that Noah's procedure was a minor operation intended to clean debris from his knee. Noah was able to play 42 minutes a night in all five of Chicago's postseason games despite that nagging pain, though after elimination both Noah and Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau confirmed the issue. From Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago:
"My knee is bothering me," Noah said. "My left knee. I'm not sure what it is, but I was able to play today. I think I was limited a little bit. But it's no excuses. I'll check it out, find out what's wrong, take care of it. Now we got a lot of time to take care of it."
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau admitted that Noah's knee injury has been lingering for a while. He was noticeably laboring up and down the floor throughout the game and didn't have much lift when he jumped.
"His knee has bothered him for a while," Thibodeau said. "Probably the whole second half of the year. We will have it checked out and see where he is."
Noah wasn't quite himself in Chicago's first-round series against Washington, as the reigning Defensive Player of the Year was overpowered and attacked outright by Nene and the Wizards' other bigs. He nevertheless averaged 10.4 points, 12.8 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.4 blocks per game over the series -- impressive marks despite the Bulls' inability to extend the series. Noah, 29, set career highs in points and assists per game this season and is a likely candidate for All-NBA selection.