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Kevin Love still a firm believer in Derrick Rose

KevLove Jimmy Butler

Kevin Love, Jimmy Butler

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Updated: January 27, 2014 10:27PM

Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Love knows what Derrick Rose looks like upright and healthy.

They’ve been offseason workout partners for years in California. And Love says he’ll be seeing the same old Rose soon.

“Oh, not at all,’’ Love said when asked if he had any doubts that Rose would return to his MVP form. “In a lot of ways, you just have to be lucky. We’ve gone through a lot of things, too, with injuries, and we’ve been able to be relatively healthy this year. So, no, I have no doubt in my mind that he’ll come back and be D-Rose.’’

Rose’s comeback season from a torn anterior cruciate ligament lasted only 10 games, ending Nov. 22, when he tore the meniscus in his right knee. Despite being a good friend of Rose, Love has given him some breathing room but knows they’ll be talking soon.

“I’m sure like most people I’ve kind of given him a little space because it’s tough to go through a series of injuries like that,’’ Love said. “I know that’s very tough. But Derrick is the type of guy who is going to do everything he can to get back on the floor at 100 percent as quickly as he can.’’

In other words, Love’s message to Rose was, ‘‘See you this summer.’’

“He’s one of the hardest workers in the game,’’ Love said. “And that’s why he’s one of the best players in the game. He worked extremely hard. But he also worked extremely smart. There were a lot of things he did with his body to make sure he was good to go. He also took certain days off and hit it hard the next day. He’s an extremely efficient hard worker. And I admire a guy like that.’’

Hinrich a tripster

Guard Kirk Hinrich (right hamstring) missed his fourth consecutive game but will join the Bulls on their six-game road trip, starting in San Antonio.

Hinrich was hoping for a return at some point on the trip.

“I’m not going to take anything off the table, be cautious because it’s something I’ve had in the past,’’ Hinrich said. “But at the same time, just keep pushing myself so I can be ready as soon as possible.’’


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