Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose returned to the starting line-up on Wednesday night in the team’s 105-103 loss to the Orlando Magic.
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Rose had missed almost six weeks after undergoing a meniscectomy on his right knee on February 27, and he scored nine points in 19 minutes of action to give the Bulls a boost ahead of the playoffs.
The former MVP showed signs of his old aggression but was also winded and rusty after going just 3-for-9 from the field and shooting 1-for-6 on 3-pointers.
While the 26-year-old was pleased to be back on the court helping his teammates, he conceded that he was more concerned with the loss rather than his individual performance.
“I’m just happy to be playing,” Rose said, ESPN reports.
“It’s not one thing. The shots I put up, I felt they were good shots, hard shots, and I’m more concerned with us losing more than anything.”
Rose added that he didn’t feel any discomfort in his knee after the game and expects to play against the Miami Heat on Thursday as he continues to find his rhythm and top form ahead of the important games in the post-season.
Nevertheless, it was a disappointing night for Chicago as the loss meant that they slipped back into fourth spot in the Eastern Conference behind the Toronto Raptors, while the Washington Wizards are now just a game behind as Tom Thibodeau’s men have four regular-season games remaining.