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Derrick Rose leaves Bulls’ win with ‘minor’ hamstring injury

Updated: November 12, 2013 10:55AM



This was not how Derrick Rose envisioned it.

Eighteen months of waiting, rehabbing and blocking out the critics, the last place he wanted to see six games into his highly-anticipated return was the inside of the Bulls training room.

But there he was after Monday night’s 96-81 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, going through a process he has become all too accustomed with – ice, massage, stretch and more ice.

“I think I’ve been in the training room long enough, around trainers long enough to really know everything about my body,’’ Rose said.

Well Mr. 2011 MVP, meet your right hamstring.

With 3:15 left in the game, Rose was yanked from the contest when trainers noticed that he was favoring his right leg. The team announced afterward that he “tweaked’’ the hamstring and would be re-evaluated during Tuesday’s off-day, but Rose was diagnosing it as more precautionary than concern.

“It’s just a minor strain, nothing serious,’’ Rose said. “Hopefully I’ll be out there in a couple of days, but it’s nothing big at all.’’

He’ll have a couple of days, with the Bulls (3-3) off until they play in Toronto on Friday.

His more immediate concern was with a team struggling to build chemistry throughout training camp because of injuries to Joakim Noah [groin] and Jimmy Butler [left knee], every time it feels like a step forward with all of them now on the court, there’s two steps back.

After a shaky first half in which Rose was facing off against Cavaliers up-and-coming point guard Kyrie Irving, it was Rose that seemed to finally be putting his timing issues behind him, not only scoring six fourth-quarter points himself, but working as a solid play-maker for teammates like Mike Dunleavy and Carlos Boozer.

“Definitely,’’ Boozer said of the fourth. “You could see us getting to where we need to be in that quarter.’’

A quarter in which Dunleavy scored 10 of his 15 points off the bench, and the Bulls outscored Cleveland (3-5) 32-21.

But after a Rose drive and lay-up with 3:39 left, soon after the hamstring injury was apparent. Once he was pulled, he was visibly upset.

“I think coming out the game,’’ Rose said of his frustration. “Just being in those type of situations, playing against a great young team, and I wanted to be out there, but I have to wait.’’

Unfortunately for the Bulls, that means they’ll have to continue to wait. If Rose is laid up for any amount of time, it still means the starting unit has played just six games all together, and will lose more practice time.

It’s that practice time that the entire group has been leaning on to get over their offensive problems.

“You get chemistry from working together, playing together and practicing together,’’ Noah said. “And we didn’t do that in the preseason. Now we’ve gotten guys back and we need to keep working.’’

Like he has been in coming back from the anterior cruciate ligament surgery, as well as the sore neck last week, Rose remained confident that his skills will turnaround. Whether it’s this week or next week because of the hamstring seems to be a non-issue for Rose.

“Like I said, getting in a rhythm man,’’ Rose said. “It’s getting better. My confidence is definitely getting higher the more I play, and like I said, my teammates are letting me play like I normally play, and that’s to attack, put everyone on their heels and get them the ball, putting them in the right position to do something great with the ball.’’

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com



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