Right now, Derrick Rose might be one of the most important players on what remains of the USA team that’s headed to play for the world championship, but his real significance is to the Chicago Bulls, which are obviously quite worried about their prizes possession sitting out two consecutive practices in order to give his knees some rest and that they have been bothering him since the beginning of training camp.
Preparing for their final two games of the preparation phase before heading off to Spain, Rose, who is one of the guaranteed six who know they won’t be cut before the tournament begins, is obviously taking a risk. He has played only 10 regular season games over the last two years, which made some think that playing international basketball is unnecessary and maybe even foolish considering his two major injuries.
According to Mike Krzyzewski, he was planning on sitting Rose during practice for a couple of days anyway because he’s been going so hard during this training camp. He is still listed to play against the Dominican Republic, but according to Jerry Colangelo, he might have to forfeit his spot in the staring lineup because in the past, Krzyzewski has made it mandatory for players to practice on the day before a game if they want to start.
There is a source that spoke to ESPNChicago.com and mentioned that since playing against Brazil on the weekend Rose has been feeling soreness in his knees. However, the more official faces of the international team have down-played those rumors, and have repeatedly said that Rose is fine and they’re simply giving him some resting time after a unique effort from him since going back into action.
Some pain in the knee isn’t always the end of the world. The Thunder took caution with Russell Westbrook last season, even sitting him out for a while as some swelling appeared, in order to keep him healthy for the late push in the season and the playoffs. He didn’t seem to be bothered by that or limited in any way. Rose has been through a bit more than Westbrook but at least on the surface, there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with him physically.
What’s going on inside? His head? His body? That’s something only he can answer and say. Maybe there’s a touch of lacking in confidence. Maybe it’s simply some soreness that is part of the coming back process. Rose wasn’t injured the last two times because of a recurring thing. One might say that it’s his playing style and a risk that goes along with it. Others might suggest it’s bad luck, nothing more. The Chicago Bulls need to hope that there’s nothing bigger behind these resting days, and that they have nothing to be worried about once the season begins.