Ronnie Brewer: Hamstring improving

Updated: October 10, 2010, 8:34 PM ET
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- For the first time since training camp opened almost two weeks ago, Chicago Bulls guard Ronnie Brewer practiced without any restrictions.

Brewer had been sidelined with a sore hamstring and was participating only in non-contact drills.

"[The hamstring] actually felt pretty good," he said after an event for Bulls season-ticket holders at the United Center on Sunday night. "It felt [good] to be back out there with my teammates. I'm kind of sick and tired of doing all the individual workouts by myself. But it felt good to run up and down the court, go through the plays, and go out there and play with some confidence.

"It might take me a week or so to get back in the flow of things and be fluid out there, but I'm very excited to be back out on the court with my guys."

Brewer hopes to be back out on the floor on Tuesday when the Bulls play the Toronto Raptors, but coach Tom Thibodeau wants to see how Brewer responds to another day of practice before making a final decision.

"It was encouraging to see him out there playing and taking on the contact," Thibodeau said. "He said he wasn't having any problems after, so anytime he can get through practice I think it's a good sign. It's another step in the right direction, so hopefully we'll get a chance to see him play this week."

Brewer, who signed with the Bulls over the summer as a free agent, is expected to be the starting shooting guard. He understands that he has to play his way into the lineup during the last few weeks of preseason action.

"To me, it's something that's earned," Brewer said of the starting job. "At the end of the day, it's the coach's decision, and it's something that you earn in practice and you earn in games. But overall, it's whatever helps the team win and what's best for the team.

"And that's the type of player I've been the entire time I've been in the NBA, so if I go out there and I can start and help the team, I hope to do that. If not, I can take another role."

Bulls backup point guard C.J. Watson was also back at practice on Sunday. He missed the Bulls' previous two preseason games because of a sore quad.

Thibodeau hopes Watson will be available on Tuesday as well.

Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.

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.