SAN ANTONIO -- Kirk Hinrich slowly made his way around the AT&T Center wearing a walking boot. Nate Robinson winced in pain as he put on his practice gear. Carlos Boozer and Rip Hamilton were nowhere to be seen.
Banged-up and missing bodies continued to be a theme for the Bulls as they returned to practice Tuesday. At least in Boozer's case, being MIA had nothing to do with an injury.
Boozer was excused for personal reasons but is scheduled to rejoin the team for Wednesday night's game against the Spurs, the Bulls said. The veteran forward did not travel with his teammates to San Antonio, leaving coach Tom Thibodeau another player short at practice. Hamilton was left at home while nursing a lower-back injury.
Thibodeau, who did not comment on Boozer's status when he addressed the media before practice, tried to sound upbeat about his injured players. That included his daily update on Derrick Rose, who fired a series of 3-pointers as he warmed up for practice.
"Whenever he's ready, he's ready," Thibodeau said. "Nothing has changed for us. For our team, I want them to continue to concentrate on improvement and our opponent. For Derrick, I want him to continue to concentrate on his rehab."
The fact Rose's replacements are ailing only magnifies the hole at point guard. Hinrich continues to deal with a nagging right foot injury he first encountered late Saturday. He appears doubtful for Wednesday.
"I have a bunch of swelling in my foot," Hinrich said. "Just having trouble putting any sort of pressure on it. Really didn't give me a timetable as far as when to return. It's just a matter of the pain being better and the swelling going down."
Robinson, who started in place of Hinrich for Sunday's 97-92 loss at Indiana, has sore ribs. He suffered the injury Saturday during a 96-85 victory over the Nets. Robinson said X-rays were negative.
"It hurts, but I'm a football player," Robinson said. "I've played through all that before. And I'm good now because I've been icing every day."
The Bulls have a contingency plan if Hinrich can't play against the Spurs and Robinson is limited. Thibodeau allowed sharpshooter Marco Belinelli to initiate the offense against the Pacers and even turned to Belinelli over rookie Marquis Teague.
"He's does a little bit of everything," Thibodeau said of Belinelli. "Obviously, he can catch and shoot. We knew about that. The playmaking, he's gotten more comfortable as the season's gone along with that. He's got good size to pass over people too."
Thibodeau said forward Taj Gibson remains day-to-day with a sprained MCL in his left knee but is improving daily.
The Spurs have their own injury issues with All-Star point guard Tony Parker sidelined for a month with a sprained left ankle.
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