Thibodeau: Derrick Rose ‘Very Close’ To Return

By Nick Shepkowski-

(CBS) Derrick Rose missed his fourth straight game and ninth of the season Thursday night against the Celtics, but Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau isn’t overly concerned about the how the injury will affect the All-Star point guard going forward.

“(Rose) went thru his workout and didn’t have problems,” Thibodeau said. “Feeling a lot better but we’re just going to wait and see how he feels tomorrow.”

Thibodeau made it clear that there is not yet a target date for Rose’s return and reiterated that the team wants him to be pain free before he is back in the starting lineup.

“We want him to be pain free and he’s very close so we’re just going to take it day by day” Thibodeau added.

Rip Hamilton continues to get closer to his return as he’s returned to doing his workouts.

“(Hamilton) feels a lot better,” Thibodeau said. “He’s making progress and will be day-to-day as well.”

With all the injuries the Bulls have had to endure, Thibodeau continues to be proud of what some members of the “Bench Mob” have been able to do when called upon to start.

“I’ve always felt good about the bench; they showed that last year,” Thibodeau said. “There are a number of guys who have started so the transition is seamless with them.”

C.J. Watson has picked up part of the load in Rose’s last three missed games as he’s averaged 13.0 ppg and 4.3 apg in that time.  Kyle Korver has averaged 9.6 points a night while John Lucas has added 9.3 points and 4.0 assists since Rose’s last start.

In addition to covering the Bulls for, Nick Shepkowski is the associate producer on The McNeil and Spiegel Show, weekdays 9am-1pm on 670 The Score. You can follow Nick on Twitter at @Shep670.

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