After tiptoeing around the question last week, coach Tom Thibodeau on Monday didn't rule out that Richard Hamilton could be sidelined for the remainder of the season with his back injury.

"There's an unknown," Thibodeau said. "It's a back, so those things are tricky. We'll just have to wait and see."

Hamilton missed his ninth straight game. The veteran guard was a surprise late scratch before the Feb. 28 home game against the 76ers after scoring six points in 18 minutes on Feb. 26 against the Cavaliers.

Hamilton has missed 59 of 132 games since signing his two-year, $10 million deal, which carries a $1 million buyout for next season's team option.

The Bulls' other injury news was more promising. Taj Gibson, who has missed 10 games with a sprained MCL in his left knee, participated fully at the morning shootaround and could return Thursday. Kirk Hinrich moved well in pregame warm-ups and is hopeful to return from his sore right foot during this three-game homestand.

There's no status change for Derrick Rose, who said last week that he feels good physically but wants to make sure he's mentally ready to return from knee surgery. The Bulls continue to leave the decision on whether he plays up to him. Rose has acknowledged he may sit all season.

Old standby: Thibodeau consistently raves about the Nuggets' criminally underrated Andre Miller, still playing at a high level in his 14th season.