The sigh of relief was expected but welcomed nonetheless when Derrick Rose’s MRI showed no structural damage in his right knee, an action that seemed to be more precautionary than anything.
Rose has missed the last three games with hamstring soreness and Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said the point guard will be a game-time decision Tuesday against the Milwaukee Bucks.
“I think more than anything, it was ruling something out with the soreness that he had,” Hoiberg said. “Like we talked about yesterday, the hamstring feels a lot better. The swelling in the knee has gone down. He had a little bit of soreness and weakness when he did some of the testing before the game. So we took a cautious approach. Tomorrow, we’ll see how he reacts overnight and then see how he is in the morning.”
Rose is coming off some of his most efficient stretch of basketball this season, which looks to play a part in why the Bulls are being so openly cautious about the injury. The injury wasn’t announced until gametime right before the Bulls played the Indiana Pacers on New Year’s Day, and when addressing the media at shootaround Rose made no mention of the injury.
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Hoiberg said Rose went through practice Monday, although there wasn’t a lot of activity following Sunday’s thrilling win over the Toronto Raptors.
Although Rose appears to be on the mend, Joakim Noah’s recovery from a slight left shoulder tear isn’t as optimistic as Hoiberg believed a few days ago. The thought was Noah would be re-evaluated and could make his way back, but there’s still concern he would do further damage if he’s not fully recovered.
“Jo is still not ready. We’re still not comfortable with Jo,” Hoiberg said. “If he gets his arm in a vulnerable position, it could cause some . . . I don’t know if damage but he’s just not quite ready is what I’m trying to say.”
The only thing the Bulls determined from the re-evaluation was that Noah won’t need surgery on the shoulder, which popped out and back in against the Brooklyn Nets on December 21.
“He’s getting evaluated. It’s daily now,” Hoiberg said. “I guess the thing he was going to look at after the two weeks is if it was going to take surgery to repair it. And it’s definitely not going to take that.”