Derrick Rose returns for Bulls

Updated: November 16, 2013, 10:59 PM ET
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Derrick Rose returned to the Bulls' lineup Saturday night, scoring 20 points in 31 minutes as Chicago handed the Indiana Pacers their first loss of the season, 110-94.

Rose hadn't been able to practice since injuring his hamstring late in Monday night's win against the Cleveland Cavaliers. He missed Friday night's game against the Raptors.

"He's a go," coach Tom Thibodeau said before facing the Pacers. "He had to pass a number of tests with [athletic trainer] Fred [Tedeschi] to get cleared by him first. And then we did a shooting session with him, so we'll see where he is."

Thibodeau was noncommittal as it pertained to a possible minutes restriction on Rose.

"We'll see," he said. "I want to see how he looks when he starts."

Thibodeau was confident Rose will be able to play at a high level even after missing the last week of practice.

"Each day he improved," Thibodeau said. "The thing is we wanted to make sure that he could pass the test where he's good enough where we feel he should play or he can play. One, he had to be cleared by Fred, and two, he's got to feel good enough to play."

Thibodeau believes Rose is close to playing like his old self after struggling to find a rhythm during the first two weeks of the season.

"I think he's getting close," Thibodeau said. "He tweaked a hamstring. He had a stretch in the Cleveland game where I thought in the third quarter he got into a really nice rhythm. So I thought he's very, very close at that point. Each day just improve, it will come. He's a great player, and it's going to happen."

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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