(CBS) In the days that have followed his return to the United Center in Team USA’s exhibition win against Brazil on Saturday night, Bulls star Derrick Rose has been taking it easy as the national team’s training camp has shifted to West Point, N.Y. and East Rutherford, N.J.
Still working his way into shape after last November’s right medial meniscus tear, Rose had a planned day off from practice Monday and again didn’t practice Tuesday. His absence is precautionary, Team USA managing director Jerry Colangelo said, according to NBA.com writer John Schuhmann.
“Right now, there’s no issue here,” Colangelo said. “If he needs down time, this is a good time for it.”
While Colangelo painted a worry-free picture for Rose, a report from Chris Sheridan of sheridanhoops.com contradicted that. Rose missed practice because of knee soreness, Sheridan reported, which is raising doubt among Team USA brass as to whether they should include Rose on the 12-man roster for the FIBA World Cup, which begins Aug. 30 in Spain. The roster is currently at 16 players and needs to be cut down to 12 by Aug. 29.
Rose has been considered a lock to make the roster, assuming he’s healthy, but Sheridan’s report raises some questions. The tournament’s schedule is challenging in that the Americans will have to play five games in six days during pool play.
Rose played 24-plus minutes, including all 10 in the third quarter, in Saturday’s contest, saying he felt “good” afterward, though he admitted he tired after four- or five-minute stretches. Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski said he played Rose the entire third quarter because he needs to learn to play tired to get back to his old self.
““I’m really happy where I’m at right now, health-wise and recovering very quickly,” Rose told Schuhmann. “I’m just trying to take my time and get rest, because we have a long schedule ahead of us. I’m just trying to get as much rest as possible.”
There’s a good chance Rose doesn’t start in Wednesday evening’s exhibition game against Puerto Rico because of Team USA’s general guideline of not starting players who didn’t practice the day before, but he’s hopeful that he’ll play. Rose started Saturday along with Steph Curry, James Harden, Kenneth Faried and Anthony Davis.