Bulls forward Taj Gibson out for Thursday-and maybe longer-with small rib fracture

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Bulls forward Taj Gibson.

 

HOUSTON  – Hopes for a late run in the playoffs took a bit of a hit for the Bulls as they get ready to face the Rockets on Thursday at the Honda Center.

It might also have an effect on the final seven games of the season for team after their contest in Houston tonight.

Before the game head coach Fred Hoiberg announced that forward Taj Gibson has a small fracture in his ribs which he suffered on Monday in a loss against the Hawks at the United Center. He played through the pain in Indianapolis on Tuesday in a win over the Pacers but will not try to give it a go tonight.

While saying it was a small fracture, Hoiberg didn’t rule out Gibson missing a few games or perhaps the regular season with the injury.

During a pre-game interview with the Chicago Tribune’s KC Johnson, Gibson said the injury will not keep him out for a long period of time.

Emerging as a vocal leader during a frustrating season for the team, Gibson is averaging 8.6 points and 6.9 rebounds a game in his first season where he’s been a regular starter. Perhaps something seemed wrong when Gibson played just ten minutes in the win over the Pacers, failing to score a point while collecting just three rebounds.

Right now the Bulls are two games behind the Pacers for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.