Carlos Boozer has cast removed

Updated: November 3, 2010, 4:26 PM ET
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer got his cast removed on Tuesday and is excited about finally being able to start the rehab process.

"A great step in the right direction," Boozer said after Wednesday's practice. "I got the pins out [Tuesday]. I got the cast off. I'm in a splint now, doing some hand [exercises] to get my range of motion back, my wrist range of motion back.

"I got cleared to do a lot of running. I can't dribble, catch, shoot [or] carry anything yet, but those days are soon, coming up on me, so I'm looking forward to it."

Boozer, who broke his right pinky on Oct. 2 after falling over a bag in his house, is still unsure when he will return because he has to get the stitches taken out of the finger next week.

"The first step is the physical therapy," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "Then the step after that will be practice, and he has to go through normal practice, once he can do that then [the medical staff] will talk about when he can come back and start playing."

The sight of Boozer, who signed with the Bulls as a free agent in the summer after six seasons with the Utah Jazz, in a soft cast was exciting for his teammates.

"We really don't know [how we'll be with him]," Bulls guard Derrick Rose said. "We could be even better, we could be a real good team. He's always talking. I remember playing against him, and he was always telling [Deron Williams] what was going on, especially on the defensive end and with that type of player on the floor he could definitely help us with the guards, it's easier for us to run our coverage on defense."

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.

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