Feb 4, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose (1) warms up prior to a game against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-US PRESSWIRE

Derrick Rose Could Return Today; Listed as Game-Time Decision

Bulls vs. Hawks — 3pm on ESPN

After missing the last five games with lower back spasms, Derrick Rose may return to the Bulls lineup tonight against the Hawks. Bulls GM Gar Forman was very glass half full when asked about when Rose would return on “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000 in Chicago.

“As long as everything goes good once he gets on the floor,” Forman said. “He looked a lot better yesterday, and he’s pain free. So as long as he’s feeling OK there’s a chance he’ll be on the floor today.”

The Bulls have been a bi-polar team without Rose, winning a big game against the Celtics last week but then turning around and getting pounded by a terrible Nets team. Chicago needs him in the lineup to be a championship contender, but with the plan of resting him until the All-Star Break almost to it’s fruition, starting Rose now may be a mistake.

Forman wants Rose back in the lineup — who doesn’t? He’s getting a fat contract and no one wants to suffer from Joe Maueritis where your face of the franchise doesn’t live up to the new contract.

But Rose has time to heal, the Bulls don’t need him in the lineup until well after the Break. There is little good to be had at rushing Rose back or starting him for the sake of starting him so soon after such an injury as he had.

Chicago’s athletic trainer Fred Tedeschi has cleared Rose to return,leaving the decision to start him up to Tom Thibodeau who has been criticized lately for his inability to pull key players who are either injured or rising themselves in meaningless situations.

If Rose returns, it better be with caution. It would be nice to see the MVP return to the lineup, but not if he’s not ready to and that means physically not mentally. Rose will always be mentally ready for the game, his head never leaves the hardwood. It’s his body that pays the toll for that and the price this year may be a championship.


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