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Rip Hamilton Close To Returning To Action For Bulls

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[Another nugget(ha!) before tonight's game. It's hard to get excited until he's actually on the court. To me, nothing Thibs says about injuries really holds water. -yfbb]

(SB Nation Chicago, Rick O'Donnell) Richard 'Rip' Hamilton was the Chicago Bulls' prized free agent addition, thought to be the missing piece needed to get the team over the hump otherwise known as the Miami Heat. Hamilton has played only 16 games this season due to an assortment of injuries, and he's currently being sidelined by a bum shoulder. Hamilton hasn't played since being injured in the opening minute of the Bulls' win over the Indiana Pacers on March 5.

Related: Chicago Bulls Notebook: Winning Without Derrick Rose

According to reports today, Hamilton is getting close to returning to action. Hamilton has been shooting from long distance again, which is important because he originally did not have full range of motion.

Here's what coach Tom Thibodeau had to say:

"He's getting closer and closer. He's doing well," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau explained about Hamilton, who has been a full participant in recent team practice and shootaround sessions. "He's been engaged, he's been around. He had misfortune of getting hurt three times. Hopefully he'll be healthy for good now."

Stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago for more information and head over SB Nation NBA for more news and notes around the league.