Source: Bulls’ Derrick Rose will be ready for Team USA

Written By BY JOE COWLEY Staff Reporter Posted: 02/26/2014, 06:19am

Derrick Rose issued a statement Thursday that he’d like to be ready to play for USA Basketball in this summer’s FIBA World Cup in Spain, and according to a source close to the situation, because Rose is ahead of schedule in his recovery from knee surgery, he will.

‘‘No doubt he will [play],’’ the source said Friday.

Rose tore the meniscus in his right knee on Nov. 22. The Bulls immediately ruled him out for the season.

He started shooting and taking part in two-a-day workouts during the last week, but his status in returning this NBA season hasn’t changed.

This summer will be a different story after he was one of 28 players named for the 2014-16 USA national team pool Thursday.

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, an assistant for USA Basketball, again endorsed Rose playing in late July.

Even with the health problems since 2012?

‘‘Absolutely,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘If he’s healthy enough, I think it would be great for him. I thought that whole experience was great for him. I know how strongly USA Basketball feels about him, so if his health is there, it makes a lot of sense.’’

Thibodeau again brought up that Rose played during the summer of 2010 before the regular season in which he was the NBA MVP.

‘‘In 2010, that summer, he had the opportunity to practice and play,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘I thought he hit the ground running. I thought it was great for him — because you’re going against pros every day, and it’s high-level competition. So I think you get an edge about you when you do stuff like that.

‘‘But the priority about him is he has to be completely healthy. That’s what we’ll look at first.’’

In Noah’s corner

With center Joakim Noah one of the players on the bubble to make the All-Star Game, Thibodeau was petitioning for him Friday, calling the decision a ‘‘no-brainer.’’

‘‘I don’t like to do that because I know how I feel when people do that,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘I think his play speaks for itself, I really do. He’s playing incredibly well. When I look at how he’s playing and what he’s doing for the team, to me, it’s a no-brainer.’’

Getting healthier

Carlos Boozer (left calf) was back in the starting lineup after missing Wednesday’s game in Cleveland, but the Bulls still were without Kirk Hinrich (right hamstring) against the Los Angeles Clippers. Hinrich likely will stay back for tonight’s game in Charlotte, Thibodeau said, with the hope he’ll return next week for the start of a West Coast trip.


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