After more than four years in lockup, the original Benny the Bull is returning to the lineup in what Chicago hopes will bolster the team’s chances in the playoffs.

“Ever since Benny was arrested for a road rage incident in 2006 we’ve been a team without its identity,” said Bulls VP of Business Operations John Paxson. “We’ve had a series of wannabes who can’t hold a novelty-sized red furry jock strap to the actual Benny.”

For his part, Benny expressed great enthusiasm at his return, which will be made Thursday night against the Celtics.

“Watching this team from the clink has been maddening,” said Benny, who was let out four years early due to good behavior and time served from a previous domestic disturbance. “Sure, they’ve gotten a lot better but have you seen the nobodies they’ve tried to put out there in my place? Some of them can’t even ride a mini-motorcycle through a flaming hoop while shooting T-shirts into the last row of the upper deck with a CO2 cannon.”

“Benny’s back baby!” the mascot said. “To hell with those posers.”