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Derrick Rose intends to return vs. Puerto Rico

Updated: August 22, 2014 2:38AM



Daily Derrick Rose health updates have become de ­rigueur for Bulls fans. Now, the rest of the country is getting a sample size.

Rose practiced Thursday with Team USA and intended to play in the exhibition ­Friday against Puerto Rico at Madison Square Garden.

“I’m feeling good,’’ Rose said to reporters. “I’m going to give it a go [Friday] and see how it goes, and I’m just trying to stay positive until then.’’

Similar to last training camp for the Bulls, Rose suffered fatigue and general soreness after the 95-78 victory Saturday over Brazil. The easy assumption was one or both knees were hurting, but after he was a late scratch Wednesday against the ­Dominican Republic, Rose said the knees were fine.

“I could’ve played, but there’s no point when you can get a little bit more rest, so that’s all I’m trying to do,’’ Rose reiterated after the non-contact workout. “If I can play, I’m going to play, no matter when it is or how many games it is. If I’m healthy enough to play, I’m going to play. I’m not worried about that. With all the training I’ve done in the past, I’m prepared for it.

‘‘It’s just that I’m trying to get my legs under me a little bit more, and we won by 43 [105-62] Wednesday, so there wasn’t any need — no disrespect to the other team.’’

It has been quite a month for Rose. He came into the USA Basketball trials a big question mark, especially ­after two season-ending knee surgeries since the 2012 playoffs.

There was talk about how explosive he looked in June against the Bulls’ Summer League players, but those were kids. Team USA was a man’s game, and Rose didn’t disappoint, emerging as one of the storylines when the team spent its first week ­together in Las Vegas.

All systems were go through an intrasquad game and the game against Brazil until he missed two practices and the game against the Dominican Republic.

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo and coach Mike Krzyzewski decided to be cautious with Rose, making him sit, even though he participated in the shootaround. And both will remain cautious as the team builds toward the FIBA World Cup in Spain, which begins Aug.  30.

It also doesn’t hurt that Tom Thibodeau is an assistant on the USA staff and can keep an eye on his star player.

The plan is to continue to monitor Rose’s health, as well as get his wind back to where he needs it to be by the time Bulls camp opens at the end of September.

“I haven’t played in the offseason at all, so this allows me to get in a little groove,’’ Rose said. “Being a point guard, you always have to get used to the ball again, especially getting used to the international balls because they’re a little bit lighter and a little bit more slippery.

‘‘I have to get my pace and my wind back. My wind is the last thing I need.’’

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com

Twitter: @suntimes_hoops



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