suntimes
DECENT 
Weather Updates

Derrick Rose says hamstring is fine, but Bulls may sit him vs. Raptors

Updated: December 16, 2013 6:34AM



Derrick Rose admittedly lives his life in a bubble.

As lines of critics were forming while he missed all of last season to rehab his surgically repaired left knee, Rose barely heard their complaints. When Bulls officials spent the second half of last season hinting Rose’s return was doubtful, he kept hope alive, even throughout the playoffs.

Little changed Thursday.

If it were up to Rose, the tweaked right hamstring he suffered Monday against the Cavaliers would be an afterthought and he would be starting Friday against the Raptors. The Bulls’ decision-makers, though, sounded more inclined to play it safe and protect Rose from himself.

‘‘If I could go right now, if the game was today, I’d be playing,’’ Rose said after being held out of practice for a second consecutive day. ‘‘Like I said, I’m not worried about that. It’s taking my time, not pushing myself and not extending myself.

‘‘It’s not a concern at all. I think everything I do — if I get hurt, it can be anything — it’s going to be blown out of proportion. I’m doing fine, and it shouldn’t be anything to worry about.’’

But playing an entire season without Rose has put the Bulls in better-safe-than-sorry mode. That’s why coach Tom Thibodeau sounded as though Rose might be a spectator against the Raptors, especially with a game Saturday against unbeaten Pacers.

‘‘He said he feels better,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘But he just wants to make sure. You have to be careful with that. We want to make sure he’s healthy enough to play. It’s whenever he’s ready to play, then he’ll play. We’re not
going to jump ahead and speculate. He’s just getting treatment. Work, see what you can do. If you feel healthy enough to go, you go. If you don’t, you get time off.’’

The Bulls will go through a morning shootaround in Toronto, and Rose’s status will be clear by the time it’s over.

‘‘You just want to make sure he’s completely healthy,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘He [was] off for 18 months. That’s a long time to be off.’’

What Thibodeau and Rose agreed on was that setbacks were expected. There was a sore knee in training camp, a sore neck in the first week of the season and now the hamstring.

‘‘Yeah, I heard it the whole time I was out from players, from
experts that played the game, other players that played other sports,’’ Rose said. ‘‘You’re going to get other nagging injuries. As long as I get them early [in the season rather] than late, I’m cool with it.’’

So while Rose sounded willing and able to go, the Bulls will do all they can to have the final say. Plus, the game Saturday against the Pacers can’t be ignored.

‘‘We’ve got back-to-back?’’ Rose asked when it was brought up as a factor in the decision. ‘‘I didn’t know that.’’

A bubble, indeed.

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.