Chicago Bulls forward Joakim Noah said he is "100 percent" certain he will play in Tuesday's season-opener against the Miami Heat, despite a sore groin that has kept him out most of the preseason.
"I feel 100 percent right now," Noah said after practice Sunday, according to The Chicago Tribune. "I have no problems with my groin."
A little more than a week ago, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau decided to hold Noah out of all basketball-related activities for a week to get healthy. Noah said he has been pain-free for four or five days.
Noah was injured early in Bulls training camp. He missed the team's first three preseason games before he played about 19 minutes against the Detroit Pistons. After that game he said he felt ''great,'' but the soreness in his groin returned, and he stayed out the rest of the preseason. Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich, who missed the Bulls' final three preseason games after suffering a concussion and shoulder injury on a collision with teammate Erik Murphy, is also expected to play against the Heat.