NEW YORK (AP) — Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau ruled out point guard Derrick Rose for the opener of the Bulls’ first-round series against Brooklyn on Saturday but left open the possibility Rose could play later in the postseason.
Rose hasn’t played since tearing an anterior cruciate ligament in last year’s postseason opener, and Thibodeau said the former MVP is unlikely to play at all. But has been practicing for weeks and may be available if the series goes all the way until the first weekend of May.
“Most likely out, but you never know,” Thibodeau said. “The playoffs are stretched out too, so you have to factor that in. “Who knows another week from now where he is? You always want to leave that possibility open.”
Thibodeau would not hesitate to stick Rose back in the lineup if his guard said he could play later in the series.
“That’ll be fine,” he said. “Whenever he could come back, he comes back.”
Thibodeau also said the Bulls will determine Joakim Noah’s availability for Game 1 before tip-off.
Noah has battled plantar fasciitis in his right foot and played in only three of the last 15 games of the regular season. The Bulls would miss Noah, who grew up in New York, against fellow All-Star center Brook Lopez.
“He’s disappointed. He’s put in a lot of work in and it’s understandable. He just has to continue on with the rehab and hopefully he can improve,” Thibodeau said at the Bulls’ morning shootaround.
“You don’t want him out there if he’s injured.”
(TM and © Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)