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Bulls announce Derrick Rose can resume activities in two weeks, opening night likely

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Bulls announce Derrick Rose can resume activities in two weeks, opening night likely

Derrick Rose will be able to resume basketball activities in two weeks after undergoing a surgical procedure on his face, as a result of the elbow felt all around Chicago.

Which means after all the consternation stemming from it, he’ll presumably be on track for a return on opening night, which falls on Oct. 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

“All we know right now is Derrick went into the procedure this morning early, and the surgery went as expected,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “He’s in recovery now, but yeah, the surgery did go as expected.”

It’s likely he’ll be wearing a mask of some sort or even shades when he does return. In Hoiberg’s rookie year in Indiana, Reggie Miller had the exact same injury late in the 1995-96 season, missed the final five games of the regular season and returned, with the red-tinted shades, for the deciding Game 5 of their first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks.

[MORE BULLS: Derrick Rose admits to looking ahead to 2017 free agency]

“I don’t know. It reminds me a little of Reggie when he had his little bone fracture, and Reggie opted for the cool Oakley shades is what he did,” Hoiberg said. “But I remember that, at least back in those days. I don’t know if the surgery has improved from back when he had it, but he was very sensitive to light in the beginning of the recovery. I can’t remember to be honest with you how long he had to wear the glasses. But we’ll evaluate that as we continue to get more information."

Hoiberg spoke to Rose and Joakim Noah exchanged texts with him yesterday after news of his procedure became public.

“You know in talking to Derrick last night, he’s still in great spirits,” Hoiberg said. “He had a really good day going until he took a really unfortunate elbow, so he’s still in a good place. The great thing is it’s not structural damage to keep him out. As soon as he’s healed, ready to go, he’ll be able to get back in there 100 percent.”

Noah has been around for all of the Rose injury chronicles, so he feels for him in a way many may not be able to. And considering it’s not a knee or severe leg injury, there’s not the sadness that accompanies the usual Rose situation.

“It’s unfortunate. First play, takes an elbow, goes down,” he said. “But it’s not the end of the world. He’ll be back in no time. I think he’s good. I mean, as good as can be. It always sucks to be injured and not be able to play the game that you love. But he’ll be all right.”

[MORE BULLS: Derrick Rose proclaims his innocence in strongest statements to date]

Life goes on in the meantime, especially considering they don’t feel he’ll miss much activity as far as picking up the offense.

“Well, he’s still going to be here in practice, he’ll still be learning,” Hoiberg said. “Hopefully it’s an injury that won’t keep him out too long. He’s in great shape. We don’t know how much he’ll be able to do even when he’s in his recovery mode, but he’ll still be here learning. So we’ll go as expected, as far as putting our stuff in. We added a few new ones in his absence today, and again, guys seem to be picking up things very well.”

Whether it’s Aaron Brooks, Kirk Hinrich, E’Twaun Moore or even Jimmy Butler, there won’t be any shortage of players willing to step forward as a playmaker in practice or in preseason, which will be used for experimentation anyways.

“We’ll get a lot of guys a lot of reps at that position,” Hoiberg said. “Again, they are guys that have played in this league a long time.”

He wasn’t in a dour mood by any stretch, but Hoiberg sounds fully indoctrinated into dealing with life without Rose—perhaps a bit too early for his liking.

Bulls Talk Podcast: The ultimate Bulls briefing to get you ready for Opening Night

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USA TODAY

Bulls Talk Podcast: The ultimate Bulls briefing to get you ready for Opening Night

On this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast, Mark Schanowski sits down with Kendall Gill and Will Perdue to discuss all the need-to-know topics to get you ready for the season opener. The guys analyze how Lauri’s injury will make its mark on the early season rotation, whether Jabari will return to the starting unit or embrace the 6th-man role and why Portis betting on himself is the right move. Plus, Kendall has the key to unlock a “6th Man of the Year” award for Portis this season.

Listen to the full episode here or via the embedded player below:

'Underdog' Tyler Ulis will fit in just fine with these Bulls

'Underdog' Tyler Ulis will fit in just fine with these Bulls

It's been a whirlwind of a summer for point guard Tyler Ulis, but he finally feels like he's found a home. Literally.

The 5-foot-9 point guard was cut by the Suns in late June, latched on with a training camp invite by the Warriors and was subsequently waived on Friday. It was then that Ulis, working out in California, received a call from his agent. He had been claimed on waivers by the Chicago Bulls. His hometown Bulls.

"I grew up watching (the Bulls)," he said after his first practice on Tuesday. "Growing up in this city, you always want to be a Bull and you’re always willing and hoping that you’ll be here one day...I'm home now. It's a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to it."

Ulis is back in Chicago for the first time since he was breaking records for Marian Catholic High School. Ulis became a five-star recruit for the Spartans and in 2014 signed on as the next point guard in the long line of successful floor generals under John Calipari and Kentucky.

Ulis backed up the Harrison twins, Andrew and Aaron, as a freshman but saw his role increase as a sophomore. He blossomed, earning Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors in the SEC. Only Anthony Davis had ever earned both honors in a single season.

He declared for the 2016 NBA Draft with hopes of becoming a first-round pick. But unlike the Calipari point guards before him, Ulis slipped all the way down to the second round before the Phoenix Suns scooped him up with the 34th pick.

"Honestly I really did think (the Bulls) were going to draft me," Ulis said on Tuesday when recalling the 2016 NBA Draft. The Bulls took Denzel Valentine with the 14th pick. "But I'm here now so that's all that matters."

In 132 games, Ulis averaged 7.6 points and 4.1 assists in 21.1 minutes. He started 58 of those games, and while his shooting left plenty to be desired he handled the offense well and brought that same pesky defense he showed off at Kentucky. It wasn't enough, even for the guard-deprived Suns. They released Ulis before free agency this summer - which ruffled the feathers of franchise guard Devin Booker - in a rather unexpected move.

"My Mom always taught me (to) never expect anything," Ulis said of his release from the Suns. "When you're on a losing team like that anything can happen. I feel like I showed I could play at this level but they went a different way."

The Suns' loss - they may resort to starting 38-year-old Jamal Crawford at point guard this year - could be the Bulls' gain. Expectations should be harnessed for Ulis, especially with him joining the roster this late in the preseason, but the Bulls, like Phoenix, have question marks at the point.

Kris Dunn is entrenched as the starter, but Cameron Payne struggled mightily in the preseason and Ryan Arcidiacono doesn't project as a contributor. That leaves an opening for Ulis to potentially fill on the second unit, and apparently he's making a statement early in practice.

"Tyler had a real good practice," Fred Hoiberg said. "I think I think he changes the pace when he’s out there on the floor. He picks up full-court, he gets up underneath you. He can make a shot. He’s got good vision and can make a play with the ball in his hand. So I was very impressed with his first workout."

Ulis is working on a 45-day two-way contract, so it's unknown how much he'll contribute. He could be shuttled back and forth between Chicago and the Windy City Bulls, but there's certainly an opportunity for him to stick. He'll be playing catch-up and learning on the go, but doing so in his hometown wth friends and family around him for support will work to his advantage.

"Being a smaller guard growing up in a big man’s sport, you get looked over. So I’m the underdog," he said. "And I feel like this team is an underdog, so we should all be excited to get the season started and prove people wrong."