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Tom Thibodeau has major off-season knee surgery

Jul 29, 2011, 1:18 PM EST

Memphis Grizzlies v Chicago Bulls Getty Images

Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau’s knee was really killing him last season. Which makes sense when you learn that he’s basically been bone-on-bone in that knee for 30 years.

Not that he said a word about it. He went through the season as he has every year in the NBA not complaining, just grinding through it.

But during this offseason — no healing on company time for this man — he had partial knee replacement surgery, reports the Chicago Tribune.

Thibodeau tore cartilage in college and had his meniscus completely removed during the ensuing surgery, leaving bone to basically rub on bone for the last 30 years. Colleagues said the condition began affecting what little sleep Thibodeau bagged last season. Befitting the tough-minded team he led to a league-high 62 victories and Eastern Conference finals berth last season, Thibodeau never discussed the situation, even making light of it on Thursday.

“It’s my kicking leg,” he said, in reference to his custom to stand virtually the entire game and occasionally object to calls.

Sure, this will limit Thibodeau’s explosiveness, but he should be fine.

Thibodeau is back to working out, something he couldn’t do last year because of the pain. Which is a good way for him to burn off some stress in a healthy way.

He’s back at the grind getting ready for next season, as if there will be a full one. Let’s hope he gets back to some real work soon.

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