Bulls

Bulls: Rose misses game with groin injury, defends choice to sit out

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Bulls: Rose misses game with groin injury, defends choice to sit out

Although it came as a bit of a surprise, Derrick Rose’s left groin injury caused him to miss Friday’s game against the Miami Heat at the United Center—and produced the sharpest defense from Rose, as he missed his 11th game of the season.

The Bulls certainly could’ve used an extra ballhandler as they turned it over 18 times but tweaking his groin in the fourth quarter Thursday was serious enough to take a cautious approach and sit out the next night.

“Got sore when the game went on,” Rose said. “Gave them notice yesterday and they were on top of it.”

[MORE: Heat surge in fourth to pull away from ailing Bulls]

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg hopes to have Rose for the upcoming road swing in Toronto and Washington, D.C., seeing as how the number of games dwindle, Rose’s importance to the team is magnified.

He tried to quell any mushrooming controversy by saying the team and Rose made the decision for him to sit out, as opposed to the narrative about Rose running the show and sitting out when he feels like it.

“It’s everybody’s decision. With the way he feels, he has a strain in there,” Hoiberg said. “I don’t know how serious or how long he’ll be out. Looks like a day to day thing right now. Try to keep it moving, keep it loose. The decision from everybody right now was to keep him out.”

Rose took questions from the media by his locker before the game, and defended the decision to sit out, as he’s still on track to play the most games in a season since his MVP campaign in 2010-11

“It’s listening to my body. Nobody knows my body more than me. So I’m listening to it,” Rose said. “It is what it is. It’s not like guys are trying to get injured. We’re trying our hardest to make the playoffs, make a run for it. The way we’re playing, injuries are gonna come.”

The Bulls are fighting with the Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers and Washington Wizards for the last two playoff spots as the sixth-seeded Charlotte Hornets continue to distance themselves from the rest of the pack.

Rose missed three games shortly after the All-Star break but has sandwiched it between his best stretch of play in years. It’s coincided, though, with the Bulls’ slide and other injuries to key players like Jimmy Butler.

“Frustrating? I wouldn’t say It’s frustrating,” Rose said. “I’m controlling all I can control. Trying my hardest to be out there. The reality is stuff like this happens.”

“I have a workout after I finish talking to you all. But I don’t know what the plan is tomorrow.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

The Bulls fell to 2-4 this month with a 118-96 loss to the Heat at the United Center, a game they would’ve liked looked severely outmanned in even had Rose participated.

“We’re giving it our all. When you give it your all, sometimes nagging injuries happen,” he said.

He wouldn’t entertain a question about if it were a game later in the season with playoff implications but seemed optimistic about Monday in Toronto.

“Just keep doing what I’m doing. I don’t answer ‘if’ questions. ‘If’s’ never happen,” Rose said. “That’s the plan. Give it these two days, work hard, lift. Whatever they want me to do. When Monday comes, if I feel good, I’ll play.”

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

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. An update from Shams Charania of The Vertical said Butler could return for the postseason.

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.