September 18, 2014
The two most scrutinized knees in Chicago put everyone on deep-breath alert again Wednesday.
Bulls guard Derrick Rose was a late scratch for Team USA in its 105-62 exhibition victory over the Dominican Republic at Madison Square Garden. He has been sidelined with ‘‘general body fatigue’’ since a victory over Brazil at the United Center on Saturday night.
Rose, who has had season-ending surgeries on both knees since the 2012 NBA playoffs, sat out both practices in New York but participated in the shootaround Wednesday morning and, according to one source, ‘‘moved very well.’’
It wasn’t well enough for USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, who decided before the game to err on the side of caution and sit Rose.
According to a Bulls source, Rose has been having ‘‘some aches in both knees, as well as his body, over the last 72 hours, but nothing unexpected or even out of the ordinary.’’ The source indicated Rose felt the traveling he has been doing might have brought on some of the discomfort.
It was comparable to what Rose went through in training camp last season when the team took the long flight to Brazil and Rose — at the time recovering from surgery on his left anterior cruciate ligament — shut it down for a few days because of fatigue and the knee not responding as well as he liked.
His comments after the game Wednesday were reminiscent of that.
‘‘It’s just body fatigue,’’ he told reporters.
Asked if it was his knees, he responded, ‘‘No, not the knees. . . . You don’t got to worry about that.’’
Easier said than done for Bulls fans who have awaited Rose’s return for two-plus years and seem to expect the worst news with any sort of health update.
The good news is, if it was indeed just fatigue, a quick turnaround is expected. Rose was up and running with no setbacks last training camp until his season ended in Portland when he tore his right meniscus.
With Team USA scheduled to play one more exhibition game and then start FIBA World Cup tournament play Aug. 30, there were no indications Rose wouldn’t continue to play a big role for an already depleted roster, as he had done in the two weeks leading up to the trip to New York.
‘‘It’s piling up, but I’m used to it by now,’’ Rose said Saturday about the physical grind after the victory over Brazil. ‘‘I think I’m a pro, professional now. I’m learning how to take care of my body a little bit more, preparing myself, like I’ve been preparing for this a couple of weeks ago, and just trying to really eat right and get rest, get off of my feet.’’