CHICAGO -- When it comes to Derrick Rose's injury status, days like Thursday are going to be the new normal. Any move the 25-year-old makes is going to be analyzed and put under the glare of a national spotlight. That was the case again at the United Center Thursday morning when Tom Thibodeau revealed Rose didn't go through shootaround and Rose said a few minutes later he had a sore neck.
Rose made it clear that he intended to play -- he is aware of all the hype surrounding his first game at the United Center in over a year and a half -- but even he admitted that he was bothered by the fact he is dealing with yet another injury concern.
“For sure, it’s definitely frustrating," Rose said. "But can’t get mad about it, can’t get sad about it. I know I’m doing all the things to get back on the court as quick as possible and working my butt off.”
There's no doubt Rose has put in plenty of work to get himself back on the floor. I've never seen Rose spend so much time after practice shooting baskets in the four years I've been covering the Bulls. He is confident that he'll be able to knock down shots again when it counts on Thursday night and beyond.
"I think my shots were on," Rose said. "It's just that I missed shots. For me, I know that I've had worse shooting nights than that in my career, and I know I might have a game where my confidence is totally high and it's going to be scary."
In the short term, what's scary for the Bulls is the prospect of dealing with any more injury concerns. Thibodeau and the Bulls would be best served being transparent about any "nicks" the superstar guard has, considering how invested the city of Chicago feels in Rose's career ... and his return.
What's Next: The Bulls face off against the New York Knicks on Thursday night. It is the first regular-season home game of the year for the Bulls.
Keep an eye on: Joakim Noah. The All-Star center expects to play more than the 20 minutes he logged in Tuesday night's loss in Miami.
"I got to play better, though," he said. "I feel healthy, excited about tonight."