Hinrich might be back Saturday

Updated: December 3, 2009, 6:45 PM ET
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Kirk Hinrich may be coming back to the Chicago Bulls sooner than expected.

The veteran guard, who was scheduled to miss between one to two weeks because of a sprained thumb, is improving quickly. He might even be able to play this weekend.

"He's feeling a little bit better," Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said after practice on Thursday. "He shot a little bit today. Still a little tentative with that sprain in his ligament there in his thumb.

"Well see how he feels [Friday], and maybe, hopefully he can get out there Saturday [against the Toronto Raptors]," Del Negro said. "But I want to make sure he feels comfortable. He wants to get out there. It's more us holding him back a little bit, just to be a little bit smart with this early in the season."

Hinrich is averaging nine points, three rebounds and four assists this season.

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.