Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah has underwent shoulder surgery Tuesday morning. The Bulls have deemed Noah's surgery as a successful one. Coach Fred Hoiberg called it 100 percent successful.
The center's injury occurred last Friday at home against the Dallas Mavericks. It was a dislocation of the left shoulder which was reduced in the training room after the game. Soon after the injury, the Bull's stated Noah's recovery time would be four to six months. After the successful surgery, the Bulls are now thinking Noah might be able to recover quicker as the initial rehabilitation time was not finalized.
It is not the first time the Bulls were unsure of Noah's recovery process as they called the left knee surgery Noah underwent in May 2014 "minor." Instead, Noah later admitted the procedure involved the removal of cartilage and it inhibited his movement through most of last season.
Bulls leader Jimmy Butler shared encouraging words of support to the veteran. He stated, "Hopefully we’ll get to see him here soon," Butler said. "He’s still going to be joking around even though he won’t be playing with us. That’s big." Regardless, Noah's presence will still be felt by his teammates.
Many people are speculating it could be Noah's last game as a Bull if he does not return in time for the rest of the season. The former University of Florida standout is set to be an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career this offseason. Noah has seen his production and value dramatically decrease the past few seasons. It will be interesting to see if upper management will decide to shop him during the offseason. His newly found bench role has still helped give the team a lift in important parts of games. The Bulls will now look to find the right formula to fill his vacancy during the time of his absence.
Cristiano Felicio Gains Larger Role
With reserve center Joakim Noah out for the foreseen future the Bulls have recalled rookie center Cristiano Felicio from Cleveland Cavaliers D-league affiliate the Canton Charge. The Brazilian player was previously with the Bulls before being assigned to D-league duties as he logged three games of action with the Charge. The three game stint was an impressive one as Felicio got valued game action as he averaged just over 14 points a game.
Felicio will not be the one filling in Noah's reserve center role but rather a tool for Hoiberg to utilize when he goes deep into his lineup. Rookie Bobby Portis should get extra minutes in the reserve role as well as Taj Gibson and Pau Gasol having larger roles in the starting lineup.