Feel free to disregard the following if you've heard it before and are now inclined to believe it when you see it, as opposed to hearing about it in advance, but one of the Bulls' walking wounded could return to the lineup Thursday.

Top reserve Taj Gibson, who sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee during a Feb. 24 loss at Oklahoma City, could return for the team's next contest, when they host Portland at the United Center.

"I felt great today. Had a great scrimmage, great practice. Felt good to be out there with the guys, just like old times. Just looking forward to trying to come back and play," Gibson said after Wednesday afternoon's practice at the United Center, before explaining his criteria to return. "It's just if I can plant off it, if I can guard somebody. That's the main thing we're trying to do right now. Just trying to get it strong, get it stable. But it was fine today, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it's going to react tomorrow."

The athletic big man, known for his non-stop motor on both ends of the floor, also discussed how he's struggled with being inactive.

"We're always in the back [of the Bulls' locker room] because most of us don't like to wear suits. We're all in the back, just getting treatment, trying to recover and it's painful. Being back there with Derrick [Rose] and Kirk [Hinrich] is the worst because they always talk when the TV's on," he joked, then turned serious.

"Every game in the back with Derrick Rose is just painful, just watching because you know you can't go out there and help the guys, especially on defense, just bringing energy to try to help the team do whatever it takes to win," he explained. "I just miss it all and especially coming down the stretch, we're going to need everybody--even myself, Kirk Hinrich--everybody, so we understand our backs are to the wall. We've just got to keep pushing."

The frustration of having missed 10 consecutive games with an injury that was initially expected to keep him out for only two weeks is getting to Gibson, which may lead to him playing Thursday.