(CBS) Bulls star Derrick Rose sat out of Team USA’s exhibition win Wednesday night against the Dominican Republic in New York.
Rose didn’t cite his surgically repaired knees as the specific reason for sitting, but he’s reportedly been battling knee soreness, which is why he sat out practices Monday and Tuesday. He was originally scheduled to play Wednesday, going through the morning shootaround without trouble, but he was a late scratch.
“Just trying to protect myself, just knowing that this is a long, long schedule and this is the most basketball I’ll be playing in two years,” Rose said, according to the Associated Press.
“I want to be out there, but at the same time, my health is the No. 1 issue right now.”
Rose didn’t practice Monday or Tuesday after playing 24 minutes in Team USA’s exhibition win against Brazil at the United Center on Saturday. After that contest, Rose said he felt “good” with the increased minutes.
Rose sitting out Monday was precautionary and planned, Team USA director Jerry Colangelo said. Colangelo also didn’t express much worry over Rose missing Tuesday, but the hope was always for him to play in this exhibition, so this is certainly a notable development. After Tuesday’s practice, Rose said he just wanted some extra rest.
At issue here isn’t Rose’s long-term health so much as his participation in the FIBA World Cup that begins on Aug. 30 in Spain. Rose had been considered a lock to make the USA roster, but if he can only play limited minutes it may be best for he and the national team to part ways in this tournament, in which the U.S. will play five games in six days in pool play.