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Thibodeau sees glimmer of hope fade for Rose return to Bulls

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau doesn't think Derrick Rose will play playoffs. | AP

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau doesn't think Derrick Rose will play in the playoffs. | AP

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Updated: April 20, 2013 6:08PM

NEW YORK – The Bulls have made it a point to leave a small opening for Derrick Rose to possibly return for the playoffs, but before Saturday’s shootaround, Tom Thibodeau brought a reality check to the situation.

The coach not only ruled Rose out for Game 1 tonight against the Brooklyn Nets, but all but dampened any hope there would be some dramatic Hollywood ending this season for his MVP point guard.

Asked if Rose returning from the May surgery on his torn left anterior cruciate ligament would be far-fetched at this point, Thibodeau said, “Yeah, I mean most likely out (for the playoffs), but you never know. The playoffs are stretched out, too, so you have to factor that in. Who knows another week from now where he is. You always want to leave that possibility open.”

But still fading.

Thibodeau and the Bulls players were holding out hope that Rose would get over the mental hurdle that the knee has caused him, and make the dramatic appearance for Game 1, but it’s just not there.

“It’s going to be the same,” Thibodeau said. “We’re not going to change that, but it’s gone this far so we’ll see. See if he can improve.”

Thibodeau did say that Rose would be welcomed back and immediately thrown in the lineup if there is a change, no matter if it is Game 3 against the Nets or the first game of the second round if the Bulls reach that point.

“Yeah, that would be fine,” Thibodeau said. “Whenever he can come back he can come back.”

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