Rose returns to practice and insists knee is fine

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Derrick Rose has become well-versed in dealing with mass panic surrounding his surgically-repaired left knee.

Then again, 18 months of the same fire drill over and over again has made that possible.

So there he was yet again on Monday, reassuring the media that Saturday’s missed game in Rio de Janeiro was a blip on the screen.

Maybe that’s why he spent an extra hour after practice shooting jumpers for all to see.

“Nervous, I can understand, but at the same time I have to worry about myself and worry about my health,’’ Rose said, when asked if he understood the hysteria. “As long as I’m healthy, this is the preseason so get all the wrinkles out. Regular season I should be alright.

“I’m fine with [the continual questions]. That’s just something I’ve got to deal with. Does it get irritating? Sometimes, but I had the injury and it’s something we all have to go through.’’

He was just fine in the team’s first practice since returning from Brazil, going through the full workout, and on schedule to make his United Center debut on Wednesday, when the Bulls host the Pistons.

“My knee is good,’’ Rose said. “I was never worried about it. I could have played but the front office made a decision to sit me out, so my health is number one.’’

The latest wrinkle in the on-going knee saga, however, was how it happened.

Rose first said it happened sometime before the Friday practice, after he participated in the first two days of practice in Rio with no problems.

Coach Tom Thibodeau was now pointing a finger at the long flight that could have triggered something.

It was a combination of things,’’ Thibodeau said. “He had some soreness. And we flew all night going there. But he moved great [Monday] and he’s feeling real good.

“It’s soreness. We’re in training camp. This is an important time for us. We want everyone to work. But we also want to be smart. It was unusual with the travel involved. We played those two games and then we basically flew all night. And we had a lot of stuff going on during the day so guys couldn’t get off their feet like they normally would because of all the obligations they had with the league. We just wanted to make sure everything was good.’’

When asked if Rose’s knee was exaggerated media panic, Thibodeau smirked.

“That’s the reality of the way things are,’’ Thibodeau said. “You guys all do what you do, whatever it is that you do.’’

As for Rose, he’s just glad that he will finally play in front of a UC crowd. The last time he was seen in a live game it was being helped off the floor back on Apr. 28, 2012.

“I’ve been thinking about it a lot, especially at night in bed,’’ Rose said. “Thinking about all the games we played, thinking about what I could have done in those games differently, and I’m excited to get back on the court in the UC. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on that court.’’

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