MEMPHISAlthough he continued to use a walking boot for precautionary measures, it seemed as if Bulls point guard Derrick Rose would be able to soldier through his sprained left big-toe injury, suffered last week. Even when Tom Thibodeau said before Mondays afternoon-matinee game against the Grizzlies that Rose would be a game-time decision, it just appeared to be a typical case of the Bulls head coach not wanting to divulge more information than necessary.
However, the glum look on Roses face after he received treatment for the injury and before he took the FedEx Forum court for pregame warm-ups told the story.
Ill have to go out there and see. See how it goes, said a dejected Rose, who played his college basketball in the same arena. Still hurts a little bit, but Ive still got to go out there and play.
Well see, but you know the way I am, where Ive got that old-school mentality, where I dont want to miss a game and it hurts missing games, especially when it comes to me. I will have to see, though. Trainers told me to come back in and tell them how it is when I go out there and after I shoot, so thats just what Im waiting on, he continued. You really cant move, so probably once again go out there and see how it goes, and see from there.
Rose, who was officially named one of 20 finalists for USA Basketball's 2012 Olympic team Saturday, apparently re-aggravated the injury in Saturdays home win over the Raptors.
But thats almost every game, where you jam it, by the way that I play, the way that I push off, he said. Rose was very surprised. Kind of irritating. You want it to go away, but it always finds its way back.
Adding to his disappointment is the fact that he wont be able to play in front a supportive fanbase in Memphis, where Rose -- whos also suffering from a sinus infection -- is beloved for leading the John Calipari-coached Tigers to the NCAA national-championship game.
Coming back here -- Im only going to be here one time -- for me to be hurt almost every time I come here, he said. Its messed up.
John Lucas III will start in Rose's place for today's game.