UPDATE 4:13 pm: Rose is back and in the starting lineup.
Remember that while he was out for back spasms, he had played through a turf toe injury before that and this time off certainly will help a little with that as well.
3:50 pm: After missing five games due to a back injury, Derrick Rose is expected back in the Bulls lineup Monday afternoon against the Hawks.
The Bulls guard injury information like it’s the nuclear football, but Rose took contact in practice on Sunday then Monday K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune tweeted this:
DRose is gametime vs. ATL. Rip, CJ out. CJ has migraine. DRose has been cleared by trainers. So barring warmup setback, he’s in.
Rose has been battling back spasms and the only long-term answer was rest. He needed some games off and while the Bulls struggled a little (splitting a pair against Boston) they were able to maintain their hold on the top seed in the East (and get coach Tom Thibodeau that All-Star coaching gig he didn’t really want).
The only people happier to have him back than Bulls fans are a bunch of fantasy hoops owners.
UPDATE 9:07 pm: According to Aggrey Sam over at CSN Chicago, Rose’s MRI came back negative. So, it is just a minor sprain. Which means like we say in the rest of this post, you can bet he plays the next game.
7:04 pm: Derrick Rose is go for Game 5. And you can expect the Bulls star point guard and MVP to be to play a lot better than he did in Game 4.
But there might be a little concern as he spent Easter Sunday in a walking boot to protect that sprained ankle he got in the first quarter of Game 4, and he’s going to have an MRI (X-rays were negative), according to the Associated Press.
Coach Tom Thibodeau said trainer Fred Tedeschi told him Rose is sore, but the swelling is “not bad.” The walking boot is more precautionary…
“Every time somebody goes down, somebody’s always ready to step up, but knowing Derrick, he’s going to be able to play,” forward Taj Gibson said. “I know he’s not going to sit out and miss a big-time game like this.”
No, he won’t. But it would be nice for somebody else to step up. Luol Deng is averaging 17.3 points per game but shooting just 39 percent. Boozer is 12 points a game (and 11.5 rebounds) but is hitting just 37.5 percent. (To be fair, Rose is only shooting 35.2 percent overall and 17.2 percent from three, which will haunt them against better teams if things do not improve.)
Expect the Bulls to play their best defensive game, take control of a low-scoring game and get some rest before taking on Atlanta or Orlando. Rose and his ankle wouldn’t mind that stretching out.
2/11 1:23 pm Reports now that the MRI on Rose showed nothing significant. He is now on his way to Dallas for All-Star Weekend, and he will be re-evaluated on Saturday.
2/10 8:28 pm Derrick Rose took a nasty fall tonight in the Bulls’ first quarter against the Magic (before the rest of the team fell off a cliff offensively, defensively, and comprehensively). The result was a bruised hip. X-Rays came back negative, thankfully. But the question now if of course Rose’s status for All-Star Weekend where he was scheduled to make his first appearance as an All-Star, as well as defend his Skills Competition title.
Rose suffered with an ankle problem early in the season and it was only after that nagging problem faded that the Bulls started to go on a tear. With another injury now on the horizon, the Bulls have to be cautious when dealing with Rose, who draws a lot of contact for a guy his size. The Bulls need him to be in top condition for a playoff push. Even though the excitement of an All-Star in the game is big, the Bulls have bigger concerns. This season may not be a championship chaser, but it sets the tone for free agency this summer. Wins make a team more attractive, and Rose means wins. The rest would do him good. Especially since Rose will report for the U.S. National team this summer. If Rose isn’t 100% fine, and understandably, a hip bruise is not big deal, but if he’s not, he should sit.
The question then is who would replace him. The two most obvious replacements are David Lee and Josh Smith, both of whom were considered huge snubs in the All-Star process. Lee’s numbers are a bit gaudier, but Smith has been a vital part of a team in the third seed, possibly the biggest part. And from a practical standpoint. David Lee is likely stranded in New York’s “Day After Tomorrow” sequel, and Smith is likely in town anyway.
We’ll keep you posted on Rose and the All-Star spot.