Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau announced today that Derrick Rose is expected to play tonight against the Orlando Magic. Rose has been out since February 23rd with a right meniscus tear in his knee.
Derrick Rose expects to play tonight vs Magic. He has not played since Feb. 23. » http://t.co/99e8ImCNBy
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 8, 2015
When asked about his knee and being able to play again this season on Wednesday, Rose said this:
“It feels the same…..I’ve been putting a lot of work in, busting my ass to get back and I’m just happy that I’m able to come back to a team where I think we’re playing all right basketball. I think defensively we’re playing good, so offensively I shouldn’t have to worry about it, just come back and play the way that I normally play.”
Coach Thibodeau has already said that he is playing him for only 20 minutes maximum. He really excited to have him back in the lineup and has a plan for him the rest of the season.
“Just him being on the floor is a plus for our team, I’m not expecting him to play 35 minutes. I’m not expecting him to score 30 points. Just go out there, run the team, play to your strengths, cover up your weaknesses, make your teammates better. That’s all I want him to do.”
This couldn’t of come at a better time for the Bulls, who are currently 46-31 with the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference. A couple of weeks back Rose stated that he hopes to play again and be cleared for contact. Now he has a chance to prove to be a great player when healthy. With Rose, the Bulls are favorites to win the NBA title this season. Here is a couple of interesting stats to look at, via ESPN Stats & Info:
Derrick Rose expects to return tonight With Bulls’ full starting lineup (19 games), their win pct (.789) would be 2nd in NBA to Warriors’ — ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 8, 2015
Derrick Rose expected to return tonight With him in lineup, Bulls average 4 more PPG, score about 4 more fast-break PPG than w/o him.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 8, 2015