March 13, 2015

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau says center Joakim Noah is ready to return to the starting lineup.

Thibodeau says Noah will start against the Charlotte Hornets on Friday night after missing Wednesday night's game against Memphis with a left knee injury.

The Hornets are short-handed. Charlotte coach Steve Clifford says center Al Jefferson (calf) and forward Cody Zeller (shoulder) will sit out, making the task even tougher.

The Hornets, already one of the shorter teams in the league, will be forced to play small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist some at power forward and seldom-used rookie Noah Vonleh may also see action.

Bismack Biyombo will start for Jefferson and Marvin Williams for Zeller.

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