Derrick Rose expected to return to Bulls lineup Wednesday vs. Magic

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From Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago:

Thibs expects Derrick Rose to play tonight if he makes it through shootaround without any problems.

Thibs expects him to play about 20 minutes. Says he’s open to him playing in Miami too.

Thibs very happy. So are the players. Big sense of excitement for team to have Rose back.

The excitement is understandable.

Rose has missed his team’s last 20 games after undergoing knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus. It was estimated that the recovery time would be 4-6 weeks, and that’s right about where we are as the regular season is drawing to a close.

Rose returning is obviously huge for Chicago’s playoff chances. Without him, and with Jimmy Butler also missing some time, the team has managed to work its way into third place in the Eastern Conference standings.

Now, with five games left in the regular season, the Bulls will have all of their key players available to build some chemistry as they head into the playoffs. A fully healthy Chicago squad should be considered a formidable challenger to both the Hawks and the Cavaliers for the Eastern Conference title.

Rose is averaging 18.4 points and five assists in 31 minutes per contest. He’s appeared in 46 games for the Bulls this season.

MORE: CSN Chicago subscriber? Watch Bulls-Magic Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. ET