Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose rejoined his team on Monday. It is the first time he is back on the court after fracturing his left orbital bone two weeks ago. His return to regular activity is still uncertain, but coach Fred Hoiberg is reportedly seeking clearance for Rose's full return this week.
As such, the Bulls have not ruled out Rose for their season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers on October 27. The 27-year-old guard underwent surgery on September 30, a day after sustaining a fractured bone near his left eye during practice.
The player was given two-week recovery timetable, but the swelling did not dissipate as quickly as expected. As a result, his clearance for activity this week could only allow for running and not practicing. "He still isn't able to do anything as far as court work. Hopefully, he'll get clearance in the next couple days to at least get a sweat going and getting a little bit of running. It will help to get him out here running. Different guys learn different ways. I think it's very important once we get him back to show him and be able to run (the offense) first-hand to get the timing right. But he's able to pick it up quick," Hoiberg said.
With Derrick Rose still uncertain, Hoiberg mentioned that the Bulls would start Kirk Hinrich, Nikola Mirotic, Jimmy Butler, Tony Snell, and Pau Gasol for the upcoming match versus the New Orleans Pelicans.
In other player injury news, Joakim Noah will miss his second straight game due to a bruised knee. The Bulls center will sit out Monday night's preseason game versus the Pelicans because of a knee contusion he is dealing with as a result of an injury he got in Thursday's preseason game against the against the Denver Nuggets. Subsequently, Noah did not play in the Bulls versus Timberwolves match held in Winnipeg, Manitoba the following Saturday.
"He still has a little bit of stiffness in that knee. It's nothing serious. He went through shootaround but we're going to take a cautious approach with him and make sure that knee is 100 percent before we throw him back out there," coach Hoiberg said when asked about the player's injury update.
While the Bulls are labeling Joakim Noah's injury as "left knee swelling," his absence it is still seen as precautionary. If he did recover in time for the preseason match against he Detroit Pistons, he will be included the team's starting lineup, possibly displacing Nikola Mirotic.