Specialist says Rose has back spasms


Feb 13

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Whew, that’s a relief.

Bulls general manager Gar Forman Monday said the Bulls got good news — or at least as good as could be hoped for now — regarding Derrick Rose’s back problems.

Specialists Rose consulted Monday told the Bulls Rose doesn’t have any structural issues with his back, that it is spasms and they could disappear as quickly as they came.

“It really is day-to-day,” Forman said Monday.

“He met with specialists,” Forman said. “They reviewed the MRI and all the information. It’s what we thought all along. Nothing structural. It’s muscular. He’ll continue with therapy and rest. There is no timetable.”

However, Rose is likely to sit out Tuesday’s game against Sacramento. There is no indication that playing time or the load of extra games had anything to do with Rose’s problem.

“He’s basically having back spasms,” Forman said.

“It might be tomorrow (when it eases) or three days,” Forman said. “The good thing is there’s nothing structurally wrong. He’ll continue with the therapy as is.”

Rose has visited a back specialist and chiropractor as well as massage specialist and received regular treatment from team doctors and trainers.

“The results were what we thought all along,” said Forman.

Forman said like anyone who has had back spasms, there is no specific date you now they will be gone. So the Bulls and Rose will continue his medical regimen. There is no prohibition being put on when Rose will or will not play.

“Anytime there’s not something structurally wrong, that’s good news,” Forman said. “He’ll have rest and therapy and hopefully be back soon. I know everyone makes fun of Tom (Thibodeau, Bulls coach) about him saying ‘day-to-day.’ But it really is day-to-day. He’s been telling you just what it is every day.”

Forman said anytime any player is hurt the discussion about treatment and whether to play involves the medical staff and, of course, the player has a say.

“How much he’s hurting and whether or not he can impact what has happened,” said Forman. “We are not going to put out there any player who is injured and we would never risk further injury to any player. We’re obviously going to be cautious,” said Forman.

“We want to get him back to 100 percent and we’re confident he will be. Derrick’s a competitor,” he added. “He always wants to be out there competing and playing. That’s what you love about Derrick Rose. At the same I think he realizes that until he’s back to 100 percent he needs to get his rest and continue with therapy. Everyone wants a timetable. So do we. But there is not one. We do not know. It depends on how he responds to therapy and rest and how well he does. It’s day-to-day.”

Rose missed the last two games on the recently concluded nine-game road trip with his back issues after moving slowly through the game in New Orleans Wednesday and playing just 22 minutes. Rose told reporters Sunday his back has been bothering him during the entire two week trip, though he scored at least 30 points in three of the first four games of the trip.

Rose has missed seven games this season, one more than in his first three seasons combined. He missed five games in January due to turf toe or a sprained toe, which also seemed to go as quickly as it appeared. Rose said he has no problems from the toe injury, which was supposed to be a lingering thing. Rose also is averaging 35.5 minutes per game this season, the fewest of his career. He is averaging 22 points and a career high 7.8 assists.

The Bulls schedule eases somewhat now with five home games and no back to backs before the All-Star break. All indications are Rose intends to be in Orlando to be a starter for the Eastern Conference, which was voted by the fans. Forman says the Bulls have no plans to add a player at this time given Rose’s situation.

Assuming Rose doesn’t play Tuesday, C.J. Watson will start again at shooting guard after an erratic outing against the Celtics Sunday in which he shot eight of 23 and was overwhelmed by Rajon Rondo. The Kings feature a dynamic penetrating point guard in Tyreke Evans. It’s a stronger backcourt than the Bulls can match without Rose with Marcus Thornton at shooting guard and Jimmer Fredette and Francisco Garcia off the bench. Ronnie Brewer likely will continue at shooting guard with Richard Hamilton likely out for at least another week with personal issues as well as his groin and thigh problems.

And it now likely comes down to the Bulls defeating the Sacramento Kings Tuesday for coach Tom Thibodeau to be named Eastern Conference All-Star coach along with the Bulls coaching staff. With Miami defeating Milwaukee Monday night, the Heat pulled within one half game of the Bulls at 22-7. If the Bulls lose Tuesday and the Heat win in Indiana, then Miami coach Erik Spoelstra will be All-Star coach. Thibodeau clinches the trip to Orlando with a Bulls win or Miami loss Tuesday. Neither team plays Wednesday, which is the final day for picking the All Star staff. Oklahoma City’s Scott Brooks already clinched Western Conference coach. Rose already was named a starter and Luol Deng is a reserve for the Eastern Conference All-Stars.

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