Bulls

Derrick Rose leaves Bulls' loss to Heat with hamstring injury

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Derrick Rose leaves Bulls' loss to Heat with hamstring injury

The Bulls hope Derrick Rose’s right hamstring injury isn’t too serious, as he exited with four minutes left in the first half and didn’t return after 13 minutes in the Bulls’ 89-84 loss to the Miami Heat.

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said Rose will be evaluated Tuesday, right before the Bulls go out west for seven games in 13 days.

“We knew Derrick had a little bit of soreness before the game, and Derrick went down,” Hoiberg said. “He was great in shootaround, but something happened between that and game time.”

Officially, Rose was tagged with having his lower back and right hamstring keep him out of the game, and his absence was noticeable as the Bulls’ early ball movement disintegrated in the second half, especially without guards Kirk Hinrich and E’Twaun Moore, both also out with injury.

It left the playmaking duties to Jimmy Butler and Aaron Brooks.

“It’s tough, my point guard (being out),” Butler said. “We’re expected to win games. I’ll step into his role and do what we’re supposed to do. We need him out there.”

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The Bulls have a few days in between games, playing the Lakers in Los Angeles on Thursday, but just the sight of not seeing Rose out there prompted a reaction from Dwyane Wade.

“More than anything, basketball fans through the world, guys in the NBA, guys hate to see when D-Rose isn’t out there,” Wade said. “We all love to see him playing the game he loves and the way he can. When the second half came, I didn’t see him out there, I said to Jimmy, ‘Where’s D-Rose?' You want to see him doing D-Rose things, which he’s done lately. Hopefully he’ll get back on the floor fast.”

Wade has battled through injury late in his career, so he knows the fine line Rose is walking when dealing with pain.

“Certain things you have to, like a hamstring, you can’t play through. Those can tear, you’ll be out a long time,” Wade said. “I dealt with that last year, two hamstrings through the year.”

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.