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updated: 12/3/2012 6:32 PM

Bulls, Hamilton caught a break

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  • Jimmy Butler said he's comfortable coming off the bench and giving the Bulls a spark with teammate Taj Gibson.

    Jimmy Butler said he's comfortable coming off the bench and giving the Bulls a spark with teammate Taj Gibson.
    Associated Press


In some ways, having a torn plantar fascia is considered a lucky break.

The Bulls have had plenty of players suffer through months of soreness with plantar fasciitis, which is inflammation of the tendon that connects the arch to the heel. Joakim Noah, Andres Nocioni and Toni Kukoc come to mind.

A tear of the plantar fascia, however, can heal reasonably fast and is usually not an issue once it does heal. Bulls shooting guard Richard Hamilton suffered a tear during Saturday's game against Philadelphia.

"It's one of those things, in his case, it's better that it's torn," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "That speeds everything up. (Plantar fasciitis) is one of those things that can linger for a while. But he'll be fine. I think he understands what you have to go through to get back."

Butler enjoys role:

Jimmy Butler was asked if he'd quickly alert his adopted family in Tomball, Tex., if he ends up making his first NBA start on Tuesday against Indiana.

"I don't think I have to call my mom," he said. "She reads the Internet more than I do. So she'll tell everybody before I even get a chance to."

Butler will take on whatever role he's given, but he admitted Monday that's he enjoys his current assignment.

"I like being that spark off the bench with Taj (Gibson)," Butler said. "I feel like that gives me a lot more energy. Running out there with Taj, seeing the energy he gives off, the plays that he makes, the hustle plays -- I kind of want to do that when I come off the bench."

Praise for great defender:

It doesn't seem likely the Bulls will choose option No. 3 to replace Rip Hamilton -- moving Kirk Hinrich to two guard and starting Nate Robinson at point. But coach Tom Thibodeau took the opportunity to praise Hinrich, the usual starter at point.

"The value of Kirk is he can defend three positions and it doesn't matter who those three are," Thibodeau said. "He's a great defensive player. We're going to do what's best for the team and what we feel gives us the best chance to win."

Bull horns:

Derrick Rose could be seen running sprints after Monday's practice at the Berto Center. With Richard Hamilton hurt, an Internet report surfaced Monday that the Bulls might be interested in veteran free agent Maurice Evans. But with the Bulls so close to reaching the limits of the hard salary cap, they'll have to be very, very choosy about adding another player and this doesn't seem like an emergency. The Bulls have had just two sets of back-to-back games so far this season, but begin a stretch of four in five nights Tuesday.

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