Joakim Noah will have surgery on shoulder, be out 4-6 months

ByNick Friedell ESPN logo
Sunday, January 17, 2016

CHICAGO -- Bulls center Joakim Noah will undergo left shoulder surgery and is expected to be out four to six months, the team said Saturday night.

Noah dislocated his shoulder during Friday's loss to the Dallas Mavericks after getting tangled up with Mavs centerJaVale McGee in the second quarter.

The Bulls said in a news release that the shoulder dislocation was "reduced in the training room" Friday night and was evaluated at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush in Chicago, where it was determined that he will undergo surgery to stabilize his left shoulder.

"The details of the timing, location, and rehabilitation program have not yet been finalized," the Bulls said in the statement. "Noah is expected to have a full recovery,"

Noah's shoulder appeared to pop out of place, and he began to scream in pain. He went straight to the locker room with his arm dangling by his side. An MRI on Saturday revealed the need for surgery, which will probably end his season.

While Noah's teammates said Friday night that they weren't sure of the severity of the injury, they could tell it was serious based on how he looked and sounded.

Bulls power forward Taj Gibsonsaid the way he felt about Noah's injury was similar to when teammate Derrick Rose went down with his first knee injury, a torn ACL in his left knee in April 2012.

"You've been going to war with this guy, all kind of different circumstances over eight years, a guy that you pride yourself with especially in practice on a daily basis and he's one of the emotional leaders on this team," Gibson said. "It kind of hits you in the heart seeing him on the bench, seeing him on that table like that. I kind of got flashbacks to how when Derrick got hurt. You don't want to see your man go down like that. It was frustrating."

Noah struggled throughout the season adjusting to a new role off the bench under first-year coach Fred Hoiberg, but he remained the heart and soul of this group through good times and bad.

"It hurt," Rose said of seeing Noah in pain Friday. "It hurt. Just knowing how hard he works, how [much] he wants to be on the court, how much he means to this team. It's devastating."

In the short term, Noah's absence means more time for rookie Bobby Portis in the rotation. However, in the bigger picture, there is a chance Noah might have played his last game with the Bulls. He will become an unrestricted free agent after the season.

This isn't the first time Noah has dealt with a left shoulder injury. He initially injured his left shoulder Dec. 21, and missed almost a month with a slight tear.

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