LOS ANGELES -- Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose will play Thursday night against the Los Angeles Lakers after missing the second half of Monday night's loss to the Miami Heat because of right hamstring and back soreness. Rose went through all of Thursday's shootaround and expects to have no limitations on his minutes.
"Just felt something in my hamstring and it went towards my lower back," Rose said of his latest setback. "I just knew then that I had to pull myself so I made the decision and my body's healing."
Rose, who has missed six games this season because of various injuries, has talked in recent weeks about how his game his coming together and his legs are feeling good again after missing most of training camp because of a fractured orbital bone. That confidence hasn't wavered after this latest setback.
"I think that I'm very close but I can't put a percentage on it," Rose said. "I think that I'm close, though, as far as wanting to be where I'm at. I'm loving the way that I'm playing right now as far as attacking, getting to the lane and just putting a lot of pressure on the defense."
In other injury-related news, Bulls backup point guard E'Twaun Moore is expected to play after missing Monday's game because of a right hamstring strain. Kirk Hinrich will miss his fifth consecutive game because of a left quad contusion. Mike Dunleavy has not played a game yet this season although he has started to take contact in practice. His return remains unclear.
Second-year big man Nikola Mirotic will not play during the Bulls' seven-game road trip after having an appendectomy on Wednesday. He is expected to return after the All-Star break.
"He had a little pain at the game [on Monday]," Hoiberg said. "He thought it was something he ate -- it wasn't anything that was going to keep him out. Then the next morning he came in, it was worse. So you're thinking abdominal strain or something like that, thankfully our training staff sent him over to get evaluated by our doctors and it was right where the appendix is located. [The doctors] did a CT scan and it was determined he needed a surgery. Everything went as planned [Wednesday] so unfortunately we'll have him out this entire road trip and hopefully get him back the first game after the break."
With Mirotic out, there will be more pressure on rookie Bobby Portis to produce at the 4 spot. Hoiberg also noted that Doug McDermott and All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler may get some time at the 4 in the right situation.
"It gives us an opportunity to play small," Hoiberg said. "Doug ran the 4 at summer league and obviously he's very good with the spread lineup, I think it makes you a little difficult to guard. The question is can you defend and rebound? That's what you got to have against certain lineups, which in this trip there will be opportunities to do that.
"I actually ran Jimmy at some 4 at practice the other day and I told him [jokingly], 'Well, Jimmy, I think we found your natural position.' So we may get Jimmy at some 4. And then Cam [Bairstow] and Cris [Felicio] got to be ready to go. I'm sure you'll see them at some point on this trip as well."