Rose confident of return for season opener


Oct 23

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Derrick Rose didn’t play Friday in the Bulls final preseason game against the Washington Wizards.

He could have played, he said, and he wanted to play, but he also understood not playing, but he’s sure he’ll play next Thursday when the Bulls open the season against the San Antonio Spurs because he’ll be practicing hard before then, though he agreed he needed to make sure he could.

Got that?

Yes, it’s Day 20 of the Rose Ankle Watch, the most watched Bulls body part since the tryouts for the dance team.

This is what it basically comes down to, which is about the same as it has just about every breathless report the last week or so: Rose could play, if necessary, but no one is fully sure what effect playing will have. So let’s wait until the games actually count and it would seem by then there shouldn’t be any problem. Why risk anything in a meaningless game?

Seems to make sense.

“I understand,” says Rose. “But as a player you want to get out there and play a little bit. It’s going good. They’re working on it and hopefully I’ll get back soon. There was no soreness (after practicing Thursday). If anything it was tight. A quick warmup would get that out of the way.

“It should leave in a little while (the ankle problem),” said Rose. “I’m just worried about playing and getting in shape. The trainer tells me I’ll be fine. Now I’m just trying to get back in shape. If I ran now, it would be tight and then loosen up in five or 10 minutes.”

Asked if he could play 40 minutes now, Rose said he could.

“They told me this was the last (preseason) game,” said Rose. “If I got reinjured I’d be out even longer. So now they’re just being cautious. It hurts not playing, but hopefully I’ll be back soon, hopefully close to 100 percent.”

Kirk Hinrich and Jannero Pargo also also sat out with injuries, Pargo with the after effects of summer hernia surgery and Hinrich with a sore left elbow. Both said they’d be fine for the opener, thus veteran Lindsey Hunter started at point guard.

“It’s going to take practice and a couple of games to get used to eachother (with all the injuries),” Rose said. “But were young. We communicate and connect with one another, so it should be OK.”

Said Hinrich: “I just hyperextended my elbow back in London. I thought I was past it. It’s aggravated lately. I’ve got fluid on both sides of my elbow around the nerve and have some tingling down in my fingers. Nothing big. No question I’ll be playing (to open the season).”

Added coach Vinny Del Negro: “It’s a long season. We just need Derrick getting better. We’ll see how it goes. If he practices and his ankle is bothering him, he won’t play. But we can’t predict. We’ll take it a day at a time and get him out there and see how he feels. Let’s see how he does next week. It’s exhibition. We want to be smart about it. It’s been unfortunate we’ve had as many nagging injuries as we’ve had. But that’s the hand you’re dealt and you have to deal with it. Thursday we’ll have to be ready because that’s when they count.”

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