Bulls

Bulls' Derrick Rose not concerned about ankle injury

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Bulls' Derrick Rose not concerned about ankle injury

Derrick Rose limped through the locker room after the Bulls’ 96-95 win over the Indiana Pacers and issued some truth-soaked statements that should quell the near-panic birthed from his awkward step that resulted in a left ankle sprain.

"(It feels) like an ankle sprain,” Rose said, laughing. “It’s throbbing a little bit, but that’s not out of the norm.”

Before his debilitating knee injuries, the one injury Rose was familiar with was ankle sprains back from his days as a youth growing up in Chicago.

So despite his going to the locker room with five minutes remaining, albeit under his own power, he wasn’t thinking doom and gloom as he sat watching the remainder of the Bulls’ late win.

“I believe in my teammates, we believe in one another,” Rose said. “I felt like I couldn’t go out there, and I felt like they could finish the game.”

[MORE BULLS: Butler saves Bulls win after Rose leaves with ankle injury]

He chuckled when he was asked if he should be in a walking boot, brushing it off playfully. Though he wouldn’t commit to a status for the upcoming three-game Western Conference road trip, it doesn’t appear likely he’ll miss any time.

“That’s too far ahead,” Rose said. “Right now I just need to get treatment, put some ice on it for a little bit. After this, just get off my feet and put more ice on it.”

Then came his most telling statement: “What I went through, all I’ve been through, just me playing and doing all I have to do, of course my ankle is a bit sore. I’m just happy nothing is broken, nothing is torn.”

Rose was driving baseline and was then fouled by Ellis before coming up lame, saying, “Just trying to avoid going out of bounds and stepped too short and twisted it a bit.”

He tried to stay in the game on the next two possessions before being subbed out, but he was clearly hobbling.

“It’s an ankle sprain, and he was limping around in the locker room,” said Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg, who’s gotten an early indoctrination to Rose’s various ailments. “We don’t know how severe it is. We will find out more tonight.”

[MORE BULLS: Paul George adds another chapter to comeback tour with Pacers]

The information the Bulls received before the injury had to encourage them. Yes, he’s still dealing with the double vision that could last another month, but he put together an efficient offensive performance, scoring 23 points with six assists and no turnovers in 33 minutes.

He made both of his 3-point attempts after coming in making just one of his first 18 on the season. He shot better than 50 percent for the first time this season, and played aggressively without having to see LeBron James or Russell Westbrook on the other side.

“His shot was really good, he has been putting his work in, not only in practice but coming in late to work on his shot,” Hoiberg said. “His tempo was really good. You could tell that first 3 was going in as soon as it left his hands. He will keep getting in better shape.”

Rose is finding spots on the floor where the double-vision won’t affect him as much, driving mid-range to create angles where he can use the glass for jumpers — a habit he seemed to start in last spring’s playoffs, but now it’s clear he wants to use it much more.

“It’s an easy shot. They’re giving me the shot,” Rose said. “I think I shoot it off the glass pretty good. Any opportunity I get, I’m gonna continue to shoot it off the glass.”

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He found himself more inside the trees defensively as opposed to waiting for the outlet pass, which could be another factor in playing faster.

“All that’s coach Fred. He wants me to rebound the ball inside,” Rose said. “It’s kinda like (Jason Kidd) back when he was playing, he could get it and go. It’s hard when you have a point guard or anyone that can push the ball off a rebound because your defense isn’t set. You can score a couple points easy.”

He wasn’t much in the mood to talk about his performance in the abstract, not because he was down about the injury but due to wanting to keep looking forward, moving forward, double vision be damned, and that damn limp be damned, too.

“I’m able to walk on it, that’s a good thing. I’ll go see what (the training staff is) talking about in a little bit,” Rose said. “I’m used to it. It’s not like it’s a crazy injury or something that’s out of the norm. It’s just an ankle injury, and I should be out there.”

Jimmy Butler's injury produced memories for Zach LaVine, Fred Hoiberg

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USA TODAY

Jimmy Butler's injury produced memories for Zach LaVine, Fred Hoiberg

MINNEAPOLIS — That feeling of having your knee buckle out of nowhere, Zach LaVine is all-too familiar with it.

That feeling of being on the sidelines and watching Jimmy Butler’s knee give out, Fred Hoiberg has been there, too.

Different perspectives, and different reactions but Butler’s knee injury produced a sick feeling to many who watched it Friday night. Butler turned to pivot in the Timberwolves’ game against the Houston Rockets and immediately collapsed on the floor, having to be carried off.

LaVine tore his ACL in Detroit over a year ago, while it was revealed Butler suffered a right meniscus injury. But it looked all the same and LaVine understood the uncertainty Butler must’ve been feeling before the MRI revealed it wasn’t an ACL injury.

“It’s scary,” LaVine said following morning shootaround at the Target Center Saturday afternoon. “I wish him the best. You don’t want to see that happen to anybody. Especially a player of his caliber and what he’s done for the team.”

When LaVine injured his ACL, he actually played a few more minutes before being removed and going to the locker room. The time between being evaluated by doctors and them coming back feels like a lifetime.

“It’s scary. You know you hurt yourself, you don’t know how bad,” LaVine said. “You think you’re good, you’re a tough minded person trying to get through it.”

“I saw him on the ground trying to get up, (Rockets guard) Chris Paul made him sit down. Jimmy’s a tough dude. Thoughts and prayers going out to him.”

Butler and LaVine were the centerpieces of the draft day trade involving the Bulls and Timberwolves. With Butler suffering the injury the night before playing his former team a second time, the timing produced a bunch of memories.

In Hoiberg’s first year with the Bulls, Butler went down in a somewhat similar manner in Denver, a non-contact injury. It looked just as bad, and Butler was taken off the floor in a wheelchair.

Thankfully it was a right knee strain that cost him several weeks but it wasn’t as bad as it looked. Considering the minutes he’s played over the last few years, Hoiberg was asked if Butler pushes himself too hard to be on the floor.

“Jimmy he wants to be out there,” Hoiberg said. “I remember the first year in Denver, he went down with what looked to be a serious injury. Thankfully he was back on the floor after 15-16 games.”

Actually, Butler missed 11 consecutive games before coming back for a nationally-televised game against the Rockets, playing 34 minutes in a Bulls win and missing the next three games for recovery.

“We really worried when he went down but it wasn’t something that ended his season,” Hoiberg said. “Jimmy’s a worker. He’s one of the hardest working guys I’ve seen. It’s a huge reason for the type of player he is, that work ethic to make him one of the elite players in the league.”

With Bulls-Timberwolves looming, Jimmy Butler is diagnosed with meniscus injury

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USA TODAY

With Bulls-Timberwolves looming, Jimmy Butler is diagnosed with meniscus injury

Jimmy Butler won't be facing the Bulls a second time this season.

Butler suffered a non-contact knee injury on Friday night in Houston. The initial X-ray only revealed he didn't have any broken bones, but the MRI had to wait until Saturday.

The Timberwolves announced that the MRI revealed a meniscus injury in Butler's right knee. There is not yet word on how long the All-Star guard will be out of action, but if it wasn't already assumed that he wouldn't play against the Bulls, it's now certain.

Avoiding the ACL tear means avoiding the worse case scenario, but this is likely still going to cause Butler to miss a significant amount of time with about a quarter of the regular season remaining.

The Bulls take on the Timberwolves on Saturday night. Butler dropped 38 points at the United Center in his return to Chicago exactly two weeks ago, but the Bulls won 114-113.

Butler posted on Instagram a reaction to the injury.

Saturday's game will be the returns of Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn to Minnesota after they went the other direction in the Butler trade on draft night last June.