Derrick Rose cleared, in lineup Monday vs. Hawks

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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.