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Carlos Boozer Injury: Expected To Play In Game 1 Of Bulls-Hawks Series

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After sitting out practices since the Chicago Bulls' clinching victory over the Indiana Pacers last week, Carlos Boozer appears to be ready to play in Monday night's series opener against the Atlanta Hawks, despite a nagging injury.

The Bulls forward injured his right big toe in that Game 5 win against the Pacers on Tuesday of last week. The turf toe injury has kept him from practicing with the team, and is still causing him some discomfort.

"Very painful, just to step on it," Boozer said, according to ESPN Chicago. "But we've been able to calm it down pretty good. It is very painful, but it's the playoffs. If I can be out there, I'm going to be out there."

In an offseason with a lot of big names available for the taking, Boozer was the Bulls' biggest free-agent acquisition. He proved central to the team's success during the regular season, averaging 17.5 points and nearly 10 rebounds per game on 32 minutes.

His playoff performance, however, has left something to be desired: he only averaged 10 points in the Indiana series, on a dismal 36 percent shooting. In the clinching game 5, he scored two points and grabbed five boards.

Some fans have suggested, if half-jokingly, that the Bulls might not be so bad off if their power forward sat out a game or two against the Hawks.

What do you think?

Quick Poll

How important is Boozer to the Bulls' success?

Very. He had a slow series against the Pacers, but he's a central part of their game plan.

Not particularly. Taj Gibson's a great defender off the bench, and they did just fine without much Booz in Indy.

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