PHILADELPHIA – It’s not a real morning shootaround for the Bulls without some more Derrick Rose drama.
After coming back from ankle sprains Wednesday night in Milwaukee, as well as scoring 13 points and seven assists in that win, Rose was once again sounding like a player who didn’t trust his body.
The 2011 MVP spent the off-day Thursday receiving treatment, but was unable to answer the bell for the shootaround, instead sitting out with the hope of tonight’s warm-up changing his mind.
Although, even that sounded like more of a long-shot.
“Yeah, you never know how something could turn out in the next couple hours, so tonight when I come back in here really give it a warm-up,’’ Rose said. “If not, if I can’t play, don’t worry about it. Trying to be in here for the long-haul.’’
Rose missed two games with the injury so far, but after the Milwaukee game conveyed to the media that he understood how he could still impact that game, despite feeling far less than 100 percent.
But on Friday, it was back to sounding like a guy that needs that 100 percent to thrive. Or even play.
“No, it’s just that I wasn’t able to play the way I normally play,’’ Rose said, when asked if there was a setback. “I think I had no fast-break points, didn’t attack the way I wanted to, but I just wanted to get that win.’’
Asked if he’s had swelling in the ankle, Rose responded, “I never really had swelling. The swelling wasn’t bad. It was just that it was sore more than anything. Really think about tonight and really see if it’s worth it.’’
Rose was then asked if the in and out of the lineup because of injury was growing tiresome, and said, “At first it was, at first it was. I think when I first sprained it, it was like that. Now, I’m not thinking about it. We’ve won a couple of games, the atmosphere, the vibe of the team is good right now, the spirit of the team is good, and we’re just trying to keep things going and stay positive, and keep it going.’’
As far as how Tom Thibodeau is dealing with it on a daily basis, the Bulls coach seems to be more concerned with the players that are on the floor for him.
“It’s [Rose’s] decision along with the medical people,’’ Thibodeau said. “You have to trust them. They’re doing what’s best. If he can’t go, I don’t want him out there. If he’s not comfortable enough to go, I don’t want him out there. I feel really good about the guys we do have.
“We’re going to let Derrick work his way through it. We have to be patient. There are going to be some ups and some downs. Just keep moving forward. That’s all I want him to do. He’s been out a long time. People tend to forget that. Everyone wants it back in a day. It doesn’t happen like that. When you miss the amount of time he has missed, it’s going to take a while for him to get back. We all have to understand that.’’
Thibodeau was asked how he would answer the growing critics that would call Rose soft, and responded with a, “I try not to get wrapped up into that. When he’s playing great, everyone talks about him being a tough guy and a warrior, this and that. He’s the same guy. The guy has had two serious injuries. He’s working. He’s coming back.
“There are going to be some bumps. He’s got a sprained ankle. He has to deal with it. And then when he’s ready to go, he goes. And that would be the case with any of our players. Any guy that is coming back off an injury or surgery, what you don’t want is a guy out there laboring and then something else happens. Just be patient. Let him work his way through it. It’ll be good in the end. He’ll be fine.’’
NOTE: Joakim Noah was recovered from his flu-like symptoms, and expected to play against the 76ers, while Taj Gibson (left ankle sprain) and Jimmy Butler (thumb and right shoulder) were also expected to play.