Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose sat out the second half of Wednesday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, but he remains optimistic he will return for the start of the NBA playoffs.
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Rose had a meniscectomy on his right knee on February 27, but it was his left knee that was causing him problems in the regular season finale and the Bulls opted to avoid taking any risks with him.
The former MVP conceded that he felt some soreness a couple weeks ago but this time round he wanted to be cautious with the playoffs set to start on Saturday night when the Bulls take on the Milwaukee Bucks.
“Just felt a little soreness in my left knee,” Rose said, ESPN reported.
“I felt it at the end of the second quarter, so [there] ain’t no point in rushing it. … Just felt a little soreness in my left knee. I felt it at the end of the second quarter, so [there] ain’t no point in rushing it.”
Rose hasn’t played an NBA playoff game in three years and insisted that he is looking forward to playing with the additional pressure, but his knees will continue to be a concern throughout as he has had three serious surgeries in the past three years.
While he has now played five games since returning from his latest procedure, the soreness will be a problem moving forward and the Bulls will need to manage it carefully in order to avoid losing their star player for longer than expected.
Meanwhile, Chicago hope to have Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Kirk Hinrich back from their respective injuries in time for Game 1 against the Bucks, with Rose adding that it should be a “fun series” against a great young team with a great coach in Jason Kidd as he expects them to push his team hard in order to make the Conference semi-finals.