CHICAGO — The Bulls will be without the services of Derrick Rose for a second straight night but they are getting two players back for his absence.
Richard Hamilton and C.J. Watson will both be in the starting lineup as the Bulls return to Chicago to play the Suns.
Hamilton has been out for the majority of the season thus far with a groin injury and Watson has missed mostly all of January with a sprained elbow. Both will make triumphant returns tonight.
Watson actually made his return last night but cam off the bench. John Lucas III got the start for Rose who sat out with turf toe. Watson is getting the nod to start tonight with head coach Tom Thibodeau said his elbow looked fine and Watson felt great.
The same can’t be said for reigning MVP however. Derrick Rose suffered what is now being diagnosed as turf toe in the first quarter of last Tuesday’s win against the Timberwolves. Rose sat out most of the second quarter but came back to lead the Bulls to a win.
However Rose missed the next game against the Wizards but started against the Celtics on Friday. Rose played in Saturday’s game against the Raptors but then sat out Monday’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day game against the Grizzlies after scoring 18 points the game prior.
It will be Rose’s second straight missed game of the season and if Monday’s game is any indication of how the Bulls play without Rose, they will want to rest him now, take the losses and have Rose rested for a playoff run.
Having Hamilton and Watson back though should ease the blow of losing Rose. Rose is getting treatment for his injured toe and should be ready to go for the weekend.