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Bulls hopeful Joakim Noah can return Monday

After missing the Bulls’ last eight games with a left shoulder sprain, Joakim Noah may be on the verge of a return. He didn’t travel with the team for Saturday’s game against the Hawks in Atlanta, but head coach Fred Hoiberg seemed reasonably optimistic that he’ll be back in the rotation when the Bulls face the Wizards at home on Monday.

With Noah out, the Bulls have won seven of their last eight games, including six in a row, and rookie Bobby Portis has thrived in extended minutes. Hoiberg will have some decisions to make once Noah comes back, because Portis has clearly earned a permanent spot in the rotation, and dividing up minutes between those two, Pau Gasol, Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic will be no easy task.