VIDEO: Bulls-Raptors preview
HANG TIME SOUTHWEST — The bad news is Derrick Rose likely won’t play tonight when the Chicago Bulls begin their first back-to-back set against the Toronto Raptors. The good news is it has nothing to do with his surgically repaired, and long-rehabbed left knee.
The culprit is a minor hamstring flare-up suffered on Monday. Rose has not practiced since. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, speaking to reporters prior to the Bulls’ Friday morning shootaround in Toronto, said Rose is “unlikely” to play tonight. After missing all of last season to recover from a torn ACL, Rose is off to a bit of an uneven start to the season, averaging 14.7 ppg on 33.3 percent shooting and 4.5 apg as the Bulls have split their first six games.
“I’m not trying to miss any games because I’m just trying to get my rhythm back,” Rose told the Chicago Tribune. “Management and the training staff just tell me to take my time. This is my first hamstring injury. We’ve just got to be patient with it.”
Rose told reporters after Thursday’s practice that if the decision was up to him he would play Friday night. Thibodeau said the decision is a collaborative one that includes athletic trainer Fred Tedeschi. The Bulls face undefeated Central Division rival Indiana back at home on Saturday night.
Thibodeau rejected the notion that he would choose to rest Rose against the 4-5 Raptors because he prefers to have him ready to play the Pacers. Thibodeau suggested that if the medical staff gave a thumbs-up that Rose would be in the lineup.
“Every game is important,” Thibodeau told reporters Friday morning. “I think that’s misguided when you approach it that way.”