|ESPN.com: Basketball||[Print without images]|
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Derrick Rose sat out his second consecutive day of practice Tuesday to rest his surgically repaired knees but is still scheduled to play for Team USA in its exhibition game Wednesday night against the Dominican Republic at Madison Square Garden.
Rose participated in shootaround Wednesday morning and, according to one source present, moved "well" throughout after sitting out the last two practices.
A source familiar with Rose's condition told ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell that Rose has been bothered by knee soreness since his return to the floor Saturday night in an exhibition victory over Brazil in Chicago and requested the extra time to recover. But Team USA officials, to this point, have downplayed concerns about Rose's status.
The fact that Rose missed a second consecutive workout is bound to worry some Bulls fans back in Chicago, given the star guard's knee problems over the past two seasons, but Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski actually revealed in a radio interview Monday with ESPN's "Mike and Mike" that he was planning to hold Rose out of practice for the first two days of the week.
"We're gonna give him a couple days off because he's been going so hard," Krzyzewski said during the interview, which he gave en route to Team USA's all-day trip Monday to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Krzyzewski said after Tuesday's session at the Brooklyn Nets' practice facility that he expects both Rose and DeMarcus Cousins (knee) to play against the Al Horford-less Dominican Republic, but USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said Rose might have to surrender his usual place in the starting lineup for a game because Krzyzewski has made practicing the day before a game mandatory for starters in the past.
"This was a good time for him to get rest," Colangelo told ESPN.com on Tuesday. "He still thinks he needs a little bit of rest.
"At this point, it doesn't really matter much, but there's a rule -- unless Coach changed it -- that if you don't practice the day before, then it's hard to start the next game. But it doesn't mean anything."
|Derrick Rose sat out of practice Tuesday to rest his knees but is expected to play in Team USA's exhibition Wednesday night.|
Rose tore the ACL in his left knee in April 2012 and the medial meniscus in his right knee in November 2013. He played in his first game Saturday since the latter injury and totaled seven points in 24 minutes in Team USA's 95-78 victory over Brazil at the United Center in Chicago.
Asked about playing Wednesday night, Rose said, "Hopefully I am. I didn't do anything today. I just got treatment and today is just really another rest day. I'm really, really happy with where I am right now as far as health-wise. I'm just trying to take my time and get rest. We have a long schedule ahead of us, and I'm just trying to get as much rest as possible."
Said Colangelo: "For him right now, you have to just weigh all the sensitivities involved ... the physical part, the mental part. He did play 24 minutes (Saturday) and he hadn't played that (many minutes) in a long time. If we have time where he can have some down time, mentally it's good for him."
Rose is one of five projected starters for Team USA's upcoming trip to the FIBA World Cup in Spain alongside Stephen Curry, James Harden, Kenneth Faried and Anthony Davis. The Americans open group play in Bilbao with an Aug. 30 game against Finland.
If Rose does not start in Wednesday's exhibition, Team USA sixth man Kyrie Irving is the most likely candidate to take his place in the backcourt alongside sharpshooter Curry.
After a wave of unexpected exits by star players (Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge and Russell Westbrook) and the devastating leg injury suffered Aug. 1 by Paul George, Rose ranks as one of the most experienced international players on the squad, having played a key role on the 2010 Team USA squad which won the FIBA World Championship in Turkey.
Krzyzewski, though, insisted Tuesday that he's not planning to heap leadership responsibilities on Rose at this early stage of his comeback, which is taking place under the close watch of Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, who is serving this summer as one of Krzyzewski's Team USA assistants.
"He needs to keep finding himself and his rhythm and not be worried about leading a team," Krzyzewski said. "Harden and Curry are really good with that. But Derrick has done a good job."
Said Harden: "He's so quick. Explosive and athletic. He looked very good against Brazil. Obviously his timing is a little bit off. But it will come with more games that he plays. For the most part, he looks great."
ESPNNewYork.com's Ohm Youngmisuk contributed to this report.