Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose is reportedly expected to return to the lineup Sunday against the New York Knicks. Rose has missed twelve straight games with a groin injury and is chomping at the bit to begin playing again.
“I’m dying to play, but we’re being smart,” Rose told the Chicago Tribune. “I guess a couple of more days rest will be good for me.”
Rose has missed three weeks due to the injury but the Bulls have fared pretty well since he has been out of the lineup. Chicago has gone 8-4 over that 12 game span as they recently snapped a two-game losing streak, their first of the season, by defeating the Boston Celtics 93-86.
It has been difficult for Rose to sit on the bench and watch his team play without the ability to help them win games but he certainly understands the importance of getting healthy. Chicago has already clinched a postseason berth and currently has a three game lead over the second seeded Miami Heat. With Rose in the lineup the Bulls have a very realistic shot at going the distance. However, if he is unable to play in several postseason games then I am afraid Chicago might be in trouble.
Head coach Tom Thibodeau is not making any promises on when Rose will return but he did acknowledge Derrick participated in the contact practice last week Wednesday.
“If he’s healthy and can play, he’ll play,” Thibodeau said. “If he’s not, he will not play. We just have to be smart about it. You’re cautious because of where you are in the season too. He has to be healthy. We’re not going to rush him back just to have him back.”
In 34 games this season, Rose is averaging 22.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 8.0 assists and 0.9 steals per game while shooting 45.0 percent from the field and 31.4 percent from behind the arc.