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News » Rose getting closer -- but so is the regular-season opener

Rose getting closer -- but so is the regular-season opener

Rose getting closer -- but so is the regular-season opener Point guard Derrick Rose, who has been sidelined since Oct. 2 with an injured right ankle, is getting close to returning but continued to sit Sunday as the Bulls conducted an open practice for season-ticket holders at the United Center.

''I thought I was going to go, but I'm still waiting,'' Rose said afterward. ''I ran. It's getting better every day. I'm happy I'm seeing some progress. Hopefully, I'll be playing in a couple days.''

Because Rose didn't practice Sunday, it's unlikely he'll play tonight, when the Bulls host the Orlando Magic. Ideally, the Bulls would like Rose to have a couple of practice sessions before playing in a game.

''We have shootaround [this morning],'' Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said. ''He worked out a bit [Sunday]. Most likely he's out [tonight]. It's the ol' day-to-day thing.''

If Rose can return to practice Tuesday, he'll have three days of practice before the Bulls play their preseason finale Friday night against the Washington Wizards at the UC.

Everyone is eager for the team's best player to return.

''It's difficult,'' Del Negro said. ''This is a time for the team to come together and find some continuity, and he's missed a lot. It's a long season. You never want anyone out, especially being a point guard in his second year trying to build off last year. It makes it tougher, so hopefully, he can heal up as fast as he can and get practice time with the guys.''

If this were the regular season, Rose probably would have already returned. But because the opener isn't until Oct. 29, the Bulls want to make sure Rose is 100 percent so the injury doesn't linger.


Del Negro wore a wireless microphone during practice so fans could hear him bark out instructions. He said being wired for sound didn't temper his comments much.

''I'm Italian,'' he said. ''I'm going to speak my mind. We have to wear those mikes a lot in the games, so I'm used to it.''


As rookies James Johnson and Taj Gibson left the United Center with their pink backpacks -- a ''gift'' from Brad Miller on the first day of training camp -- Joakim Noah was asked if he participated in the rookie hazing.

''No, it would be hypocritical of me to do so,'' he said.

''I wasn't a so-called 'good rook.' I was a rebel. So I try to leave them alone.''

To prove the point, Noah told a story about how he and Aaron Gray splashed veteran Ben Wallace with water while he was getting a massage during their rookie seasons.

According to Noah, Wallace exacted his revenge by driving Gray's car to a remote section of the hotel parking lot in the same office complex as the Berto Center and then hiding the keys.


With the Magic and All-Star center Dwight Howard in town, Noah's improvement will be put to the test.

''He's the most powerful, probably the best center in the NBA,'' Noah said. ''It's always good to play against the best.''

When asked if jockeying for position with Howard will test the benefits of his weight training over the summer, Noah said, ''We'll have to wait and see. I'm sure he lifted a little in the offseason, too.''

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 20, 2009


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