TORONTO -- Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah will have surgery Thursday to repair a torn ulna collateral ligament in his right thumb, the team announced.
Noah, who was in the starting lineup Wednesday against the Toronto Raptors despite the injury, is likely to miss 8-10 weeks
"I feel like it's just tough not playing at a high level," Noah said following Wednesday's game. "It's hurting and I'm playing and I've got to take anti-inflammatories every time I play. I can't practice. I have to get right. I have to get right and get back to this team. I'm going to miss playing with the guys. It's frustrating because I feel like we have a chance to be really, really good. And I've never been in a situation where we're winning like this. But I know in the long run, this is what needs to be done.
"I've had the same exact surgery before on my left hand. It sucks. It's not what I want, but you can't ... I've [played] through it for a couple weeks now and I got to get back to playing at a high level."
"As the days proceeded from the original injury, it became clear for all that surgery was best for Joakim," Bulls general manager Gar Forman said in the statement. "We have always valued Joakim's toughness and willingness to put the team above himself, but in this case his health took precedence."
"Joakim's injury presentation was unusual in that he was able to function at a high level with the injury," Bulls physician Brian Cole said in a statement. "More often, athletes are unable to play at all due to pain and instability of the thumb."