Bulls' Thomas returns to practice

Updated: December 17, 2009, 5:35 PM ET
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls forward Tyrus Thomas, who broke his left forearm last month during a weight-room training session, has returned to practice.

The fourth-year forward, who hasn't played since Nov. 5, is participating in non-contact and shooting drills.

"Just practicing a little bit, no contact yet," Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said after the team's shootaround Thursday morning. "He'll still just trying to get in condition all week, and then hopefully his contact will start next week."

When asked if Monday was a probable date for Thomas to start fully participating in practice, Del Negro said: "I don't know yet. I just got to see what the doctors and trainers say. It's kind of a daily update. He's been doing well and he's been doing some of our shooting drills and our non-contact stuff."

As for the rest of his team, Del Negro said that everyone else is scheduled to play Thursday night against the New York Knicks. Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah received pain-killing injections Tuesday night and Kirk Hinrich (elbow, finger, ankle) has been battling several injuries

"We've got some guys banged up, but we'll be ready to play" Del Negro said. "They all got their little nagging injuries, but everybody's a go as of right now."

Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com.

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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