Carlos Boozer practices with Bulls
DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Carlos Boozer practiced Monday with the Chicago Bulls for the first time since breaking his pinkie finger almost two months ago, but his status is uncertain for Wednesday's game against the Orlando Magic.
"I'm doing good," Boozer said Monday. "I've got my protective glove on. I thought I had a pretty good day at practice. My hand felt pretty good, and I'm getting better and better which is all I can hope for."
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Boozer, who signed a five-year deal this summer that could be worth as much as $80 million, has not played this season after tripping over a bag in his home and breaking his right pinkie.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau liked what he saw of Boozer in practice.
"He looked fine. He was very active," Thibodeau said. "He didn't have any problems with the contact. He's in great shape so that was encouraging. Shot the ball well. We're not quite sure if he'll go on Wednesday. We'll see how it goes [Tuesday] and then the shootaround on Wednesday. But for a first day it was very good."
Boozer said playing on Wednesday will be his decision.
"I'm going to see. I'm going to see how it feels each day," Boozer said. "Right now, I'm going to go ice it down when I get done talking to [the media]. Do treatment twice a day, maybe three times a day, and just see how it feels on Wednesday before the game."
A Wednesday return might be good timing for the Bulls. Taj Gibson missed practice on Monday because of a right ankle injury that kept him out of Wednesday's game against the Phoenix Suns and limited him in the final two games of the trip.
Gibson, who averages 26.9 minutes a game in place of Boozer in the starting lineup, is averaging 11.3 points and 6.9 rebounds.
Boozer's frontcourt mate Joakim Noah is excited to finally play with him.
"It was great to have him back," Noah said. "[We're] very excited. We have a tough schedule coming up, and it's great to have one of our aces back."
Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.