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updated: 1/1/2013 8:28 PM

Status of Bulls' Hinrich, Noah unclear

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The Bulls could use all the help they can get on this next road trip. After 3 double-digit losses in the last four games, they visit Orlando on Wednesday, then Miami two days later.

For now, the availability of Kirk Hinrich and Joakim Noah is unclear. It's possible both could play against the Magic.

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Hinrich sat out Monday's loss to Charlotte because of a sore left knee, and the Bulls missed his defense. He didn't practice Tuesday but shot around and was moving well.

"I'm feeling better today, and hopefully moving forward I can continue to feel better and stay feeling good," he said. "It's a bone-bruise-type deal on my kneecap. I had some swelling, was able to get the swelling down, but there's still a lot of pain in the kneecap.

"I'll go down there, get some treatment, try to participate in shootaround and go from there."

Noah played Monday, despite feeling under the weather, and produced just 2 points and 4 rebounds in 30 minutes. He stayed home from practice but was expected to make the flight to Orlando.

The day draws closer:

Kirk Hinrich gave a player's perspective on Derrick Rose as he inches closer to a return from ACL surgery.

"It's great seeing Derrick feeling better," he said. "It seems like his spirits are up. I think he's starting to kind of get the itch, I'm sure.

"Everybody, obviously, will get excited when he comes back. But at the same time, it's about his well-being and making sure he's ready to go.

"Nobody wants to rush him back. He had a serious injury. He's one of the best players in the world, and you can't rush a guy.

Doggone bad games:

The Bulls haven't played well since winning at New York on Dec. 21, but coach Tom Thibodeau thinks it's too soon for a midseason lull.

"To me, this is the time of the year, it's easy to get distracted," Thibodeau said. "But in terms of it being the dog days, the dog days used to be 40-60 (games). We're at 30. So you can't have that mentality.

"We've got to get back on track. We have to get back to putting the work into it. If we're doing the right things, we'll improve."

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