Rip practices, game-time to face Pistons
March, 30, 2012
By Scott Powers
Hamilton, who injured his right shoulder on March 5, has played in just 16 games this season because of various injuries. He began taking contact on Wednesday.
In order for Hamilton to play, the Bulls need "medical clearance first, and when he's pain free, he goes," coach Tom Thibodeau said.
Some believe Hamilton shouldn't have returned to face his former team in Detroit on Jan. 4. He tweaked his injury and missed the next eight games.
"Hindsight is always 20/20, I don't know," Thibodeau said. "At that particular time based on the information we had, and it's an unusual season because it was a shortened camp, and everybody, you're behind. It was right at the beginning of the season. I think he felt he was healthy enough to play. And it didn't work out."
Thibodeau emphasized that Friday's opponent will not be a factor.
"To me and we've said this along, a guy coming back shouldn't be based on who the opponent is," he said. "It should be based on health. Is he healthy enough to play? If you're healthy enough to practice and then you're healthy enough to play, then you play regardless of the opponent is, and I hope that's the case."
Rose began running on a treadmill on Sunday and still has not taken contact. He has missed 17 games with a variety of injuries, and the Bulls are 12-5 during that stretch.
Scott Powers writes for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.