Bulls forward Carlos Boozer, recovering from a turf toe injury to his right big toe, participated on a limited basis in the team's shootaround Monday morning and said he will try to play in Game 1 against the Atlanta Hawks tonight at the United Center.
''It's painful, but it's the playoffs. So if I can be out there, I'm going to be out there,'' Boozer said after the shootaround at the Berto Center.
Boozer said he will go through warm-ups prior to the game and decide whether he can play. If he can, he will start, coach Tom Thibodeau said.
Boozer participated in shooting drills and a walk-through vs. the Hawks' offense, but because the Bulls did not scrimmage at the shootaround, Boozer has not been in contact play since suffering the injury in the second quarter of Game 5 vs. the Indiana Pacers last Tuesday night.
''If I'm able to deal with it and go out there and play, I'm not going to think about it. I'll just go out and play,'' Boozer said. ''You have to do what you have to do.''
Thibodeau will leave the decision up to Boozer.
''If he says he can go [he'll start],'' Thibodeau said. ''He did a lot more today. He says he's feeling better.''
Thibodeau indicated he expects the Hawks to test Boozer if he plays.
''You're not going to change what you really want to do. You play to your strengths,'' Thibodeau said. ''But you probably try to attack it to see how he responds. He'll be ready to go.''