Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose has played in 34 regular season games during the 2011-12 season, and has produced at a very high level when on the court, but he has also missed 15 games due to various injuries. The latest ailment is his injured groin muscle, which has kept him out of five consecutive contests and will likely prevent him from playing on Saturday night against the Toronto Raptors as well -- although he is officially listed as a game-time decision.
K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune has been trying to cut through the rhetoric presented by Tom Thibodeau and the Bulls organization regarding Rose's timetable for a return, and reported on Wednesday that the star guard is "more week-to-week than day-to-day."
Here is the meaty excerpt from K.C. Johnson's story:
"If someone is injured, regardless of where we are or who we're playing against, we don't want him to play," Thibodeau said before Wednesday's morning shootaround at Air Canada Centre. "If somebody is hurting and they can play, that's a different story. We want Derrick to be completely healthy. And when he is, he will play."
...Thibodeau continued his cat-and-mouse game of calling Rose a game-time decision with his groin injury, even though Rose hasn't begun running and is shuffling along rather than walking purposefully. There is no definitive timetable for either player's return, although Rose is more week-to-week than day-to-day.
The Bulls (39-10) still own the best record in the NBA and are currently 2.5 games ahead of the Miami Heat for the top seed in the Eastern Conference playoff bracket, but Bulls fans have the right to be concerned about whether Rose can jump back into action and play as well as Chicago needs him to in order to knock off the Heat and get to the NBA Finals.
A nice night from John Lucas III makes for a good story every once and while, but the simple truth is that the Bulls depend heavily on Rose for offense and would be very vulnerable in the playoffs if he is anything less that 100 percent. This is a situation that should be monitored very closely by anyone rooting for the Bulls.