Bulls' Hinrich, Noah to start
WASHINGTON -- Chicago Bulls captain Kirk Hinrich and Joakim Noah will be back in the starting lineup Friday night against the Washington Wizards, while Luol Deng will play limited minutes after missing the past 11 games with a strained calf.
"Hinrich's going to try to go tonight," Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said after Friday morning's shootaround. "I'll just monitor and see how he feels and he'll give us whatever he can."
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Hinrich, who's been battling a sprained left ankle, is confident he will be able to play.
"It feels pretty good today," he said. "I'm just real happy with the improvements that were made the last couple days, and it feels good."
Noah, battling plantar fasciitis, returns to the starting lineup for the first time since February 3.
Deng also will ease back into action.
"Luol, I think will get a few minutes," Del Negro said. "He's a little sore today, so I want to see how he warms up before the game, but hopefully we can get him out there for a few minutes tonight and try to build his minutes up, depending on how his calf reacts."
Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com.