The Chicago Bulls won’t have Loul Deng, Derrick Rose and possibly Kirk Hinrich in the lineup for Game 1 of their Eastern Conference semifinal against the Miami Heat on Monday, but Rose said his status is “still up in the air. I might have a chance.”
Rose was asked if he owed anything to his teammates, who are also battling through injuries and illness to play, Rose said: “There’s no pressure at all. I haven’t had any pressure from anyone – not in the organization, not from my teammates.
“They know I’m put everything I have into trying to come back as fast as possible. But just trying to be smart with the whole situation and just take my time.
Rose tore his ACL in Game 1 of last year’s playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers. Since Feb. 18, he has been medically cleared to play and has been scrimmaging 5-on-5, but doesn’t feel ready to play in games.
“It’s definitely hard but I know that this will be over with pretty soon. Who knows when it’s going to stop but I can’t just get down on myself,” Rose said Monday.
Miami Heat center Chris Bosh said he would be surprised if Rose played.
“I’d be surprised,” Bosh said.” But that’s totally his decision. If he does, we’re going to make it tough on him.”
As far as Deng, he did not make the trip to Miami after missing the past two games against the Brooklyn Nets because of the flu. He was admitted to the hospital on Sunday but has been discharged.
“As a result of the spinal tap I suffered the worst headache I’ve ever experienced and been the weakest I’ve ever felt,” Deng tweeted.
Hinrich has missed the past three games because of a bruised left calf, he is a game-time decision