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Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson Returning For Bulls

By Cody Westerlund--

(CBS) Losers of four in a row and having fallen to .500, the Bulls will get some reinforcements Saturday night when they host the Rockets.

All-Star wing and leading scorer Jimmy Butler will return to the lineup, coach Fred Hoiberg said, after missing the past 11 games with a left knee strain. The Bulls went 3-8 in Butler's absence.

Butler will guard Rockets star James Harden.

"Jimmy gives you the ability to guard guys one on one," Hoiberg said. "You're not having to scramble and put double-team schemes together, because of Jimmy's ability to move his feet and use his physicality."

Forward Taj Gibson will also return after missing Wednesday's loss against the Magic with a right hamstring strain.

"There's no time to worry about injuries right now," Gibson said.

At 30-30, the Bulls are in ninth place in the East, a half-game behind the eighth-place Pistons.

"Having some toughness, guarding somebody," Gibson said of the key to a turnaround for the Bulls. "Understand that there could be no tomorrow if we don't keep winning games.

"It comes down to will."

Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic is also "close" to a return, Hoiberg said. Mirotic has been out since a late January appendectomy was followed by a second surgery for complications. Mirotic has taken charges in practice, so he's been fully ramped up with the contact. He's currently ruled out for Saturday's game still, though, Hoiberg added.

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