Derrick Rose wasn’t limping, and that’s the good news, a strong sentiment considering he played with just one arm for most of Tuesday’s win against the Indiana Pacers with a hyperextended left elbow.
As animated as Rose was when he took a hard spill in the second half of Monday’s loss against the Atlanta Hawks—which earned him a technical foul after not getting a foul called in his favor—was likely exacerbated by his annoyance Tuesday.
This injury caused him to wear a sleeve on the elbow, and Rose seemed to aggravate it early in the first quarter at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
“It was a play where I fell in the open court, threw the ball up and had to protect myself by landing on the elbow,” Rose said. “Just a play yesterday, one of the plays where I didn’t get a call. Ended up lingering until today.”
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But he played, perhaps an admission or acknowledgement of where the Bulls stand in the playoff standings with things slipping away by the day if they don’t pick up ground against the Pacers or Detroit Pistons, the teams ahead of them for playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.
He went with a Pacers official to get his elbow looked at immediately after the Bulls’ 98-96 win, and had a wrap on it in the locker room, iced down.
“Nothing yet. They haven’t said anything yet,” Rose said. “Regular, just sore elbow. Tried to play through it tonight.”
Rose gamely tried to make himself a threat at least, as each of his four field goals were close near the basket, and although he’s a right-handed player, he uses his left hand to drive before switching the ball back over.
“Hopefully I am. I’m trying to give it my all right now,” Rose said. “Tonight, trying to give the team all I have. Even though I couldn’t go left, I’m a left-handed driver. Tried to give the team whatever I had.”
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It was enough, as his eight points and four assists aren’t likely to jump off the screen, but the Pacers had to acknowledge his presence and commit a defender to him.
Rose tried his best to downplay it, and said he’s hopeful of playing Thursday night in Houston, another crucial game to the Bulls’ postseason hopes.
“It was just all tonight. It was just sore, your regular sore elbow,” he said. “Huge, hopefully we can get it rolling. Playing against a feisty Houston team next. It doesn’t stop here.”