Thibodeau confirms Rose's increased participation

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Thibodeau confirms Rose's increased participation

DEERFIELD, ILL.A day after Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio made his season debutapproximately nine months after ACL surgeryBulls head coach Tom Thibodeau was posed with the inevitable question about Derrick Roses rehabilitation progress after the teams practice Sunday afternoon at the Berto Center. While the coach was willing to share some information about Roses recovery, he wouldnt go as far as to compare the Bulls superstar with the Minnesota playmaker.
I dont think it has really anything to do with Derrick because I think each guy is different and separate, but Im happy to see it for him. Ricky Rubio is a terrific player and you hate to see anybody go down with that type of injury, so Im glad that hes back. I think itll be a big plus for Minnesota, Thibodeau said. Derricks doing fine. Just got to be patient. Hes just got to keep doing the things that hes doing.
Rubio scored eight points and dished out nine assists off the bench in the Timberwolves win Saturday night, but it should be noted that the Spaniards game is far less explosive than Roses. Still, Thibodeau did admit that its a positive sign that the second-year point guard played at a high level in his first game since March.
I think youre seeing more and more of that. Different players, the way medicine is today, you see guys fully recover, come back, in some cases, even better than they were before the injury, so youve just got to be patient, he said. Its an injury that takes time and hopefully everything works out.
Perhaps a more apt comparison for Rose than Rubiooutside of optimists invoking the name of another Minnesota professional athlete, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who is poised to have a record-setting campaign in the wake of his own ACL recoveryis another Chicago-area native, Knicks guard Iman Shumpert.
Shumpert, a second-year pro from nearby Oak Park, Ill., tore his ACL on the same day as Rose on Apr. 28, and while there are lower stakes for New Yorkthe Knicks are leading the Eastern Conference at the moment, have depth at Shumperts position and are obviously less reliant on him to be the future of their franchisehe has similar athleticism to Rose and according to both reports and a source close to the player, he is targeting January or February for his return to the court.
Of course, each player recovers at his own pace, each injury is different and Roses value to the Bulls affects the organizations cautiousness. Thibodeau wouldnt commit to when Rose, who is very visible while doing conditioning or shooting drills after practices at the Berto Center and before games at the United Center, when return to practice or begin sitting on the bench during games, but he did reveal that the All-Star point guard is participating in the teams pre-practice early group sessions, as was previously reported by CSNChicago.com.
Once he starts doing more in practice, then hell be with us more. But right now, the focus still has to be on his rehab and the things that he needs to do. Hes got to a lot of things off the court still. Hes doing more and more on the court, which is encouraging. But hes still a ways away, Thibodeau explained. Hes still a ways away from that, the actual practice stuff.

Blackhawks assistant Kevin Dineen appreciates interview opportunities

Blackhawks assistant Kevin Dineen appreciates interview opportunities

Kevin Dineen is back with the Blackhawks but there were times this summer you wondered if another team would take him away.

The Blackhawks’ assistant coach was a major candidate for the Colorado Avalanche head coaching job, according to the Denver Post, following Patrick Roy’s surprising departure. There were probably other inquiries, too.

“It’s always nice to go through a process of talking about the way you do your business. It’s also a reflection of where you are,” said Dineen following the Blackhawks’ White-Red scrimmage on Saturday. “No. 1, you have to get permission to do that, and the Blackhawks have been great about giving me the opportunity to go out and do that. But also, when you have success, a lot of people want to get your feedback or whatever it is.”

Dineen’s name will likely come up whenever there’s a coaching vacancy. He coached the Florida Panthers from 2011-13 and coached Team Canada women’s team to a gold medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics. Dineen will get another opportunity in the NHL but for now, life is good in Chicago.

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“For me, I couldn’t be happier right here,” he said. “I have a great person and hockey mind to work with in Joel [Quenneville]. But you know, down the line, those things play their way out and we’ll see where it goes.”

Arriving soon

Patrick Kane, Ville Pokka and Michal Kempny will join the Blackhawks’ training camp on Tuesday. The three finished up round-robin World Cup of Hockey play with their respective teams on Thursday.

Dineen said there’s a chance one of the defensemen, Pokka or Kempny, play in Wednesday night’s preseason game against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

“They’ll get into the swing of things here on Tuesday,” Dineen said. “So that’ll give them a good rest after a long, tough September, and we expect them to hit the ice flying.”

Briefly

  • Duncan Keith will skate during one of the Blackhawks’ practices on Sunday and Monday.
     
  • Team White defeated Team Red 4-3 in Saturday’s scrimmage at the United Center. Spencer Abbott led Team White with two goals.

After locking up homefield advantage, Cubs flummoxed by Cardinals in blowout loss

After locking up homefield advantage, Cubs flummoxed by Cardinals in blowout loss

At the end of the day, a loss means essentially nothing for the Cubs right now.

But the Cubs also certainly don't want to hand games to their division rival as the St. Louis Cardinals make a run at the National League wild card spots.

After the Cubs clinched homefield advantage throughout the NL playoffs with the Washington Nationals' loss Friday night, they had no answer for the Cardinals in a 10-4 loss in front of 40,785 fans at Wrigley Field Saturday afternoon on national TV.

A few disturbing trends popped their heads above ground for the Cubs again Saturday, including the offense's struggles at manufacturing runs, Jason Hammel getting shelled and some bullpen woes.

The Cubs had no trouble putting runners on base against Cardinals phenom Alex Reyes, but they had a tough time plating those guys, cashing in only once with a runner on third base in six tries over the first four innings.

In two of those spots, a Cubs hitter came up with only one out, but failed to bring the run home as Addison Russell struck out in the first inning and Kris Bryant popped out to shallow left in the second.

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Hammel recorded only seven outs and was tagged for six runs on six hits and a walk, watching his season ERA rise nearly 30 points to 3.83. The veteran right-hander fell to 15-10 as he attempts to make a push for one of the Cubs' final postseason roster spots.

"Honestly, I would love to be a part of [the playoff roster], as the rest of the guys on the team would love to," Hammel said. "I know there's only a certain amount of spots, so if I'm handed the ball, I'll be ready. That's the way I'm gonna view it.

"Obviously you wanna be a part of something special like that, but I think everybody here has already been a part of something special to get to this point. We're all very proud. We still got eight regular season ballgames left to build some momentum. Whether I'm on the roster or not, I'm still gonna enjoy it."

Hammel was also clearly on the wrong end of some bad luck Saturday, as the four runs he allowed in the first came via a check swing and a couple hits just out of the reach of his fielders. 

Joe Maddon won't put too much stock into one rough start in late September.

"I'm not too worried about a good or bad outing right now. I'm not," he said. "Pretty much, you know who the guy is. You know if the guy's go this stuff going on or if he doesn't. ... The greater body of work matters."

Setup man Hector Rondon struggled in his appearance, needing 26 pitches to notch just one out, giving up three runs on three hits and a walk before handing the ball off to Felix Pena.

Of course, it's also just one game and one loss for a team with 98 victories and hopes of the World Series.

Rondon had been nearly unhittable since returning from the disabled list two weeks ago and the Cubs offense had been efficient and relentless in the past four games after Maddon's meeting with the hitters earlier in the week.

Maddon also used the blowout to get regulars like Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist, Jason Heyward and Russell out of the lineup to help keep them fresh for October.

After the game, Maddon chose to look on the bright side.

"Our starter had a tough day today; that's it. Otherwise we did some nice things," he said, referencing the solid offensive days from Dexter Fowler and Ben Zobrist. "We had chances to score runs - runners on third, less than two outs - and we didn't fulfill that.

"We made their starter throw 115 pitches in five innings; I think that's a positive."

The Cubs will close out their season series with the Cardinals on another nationally-televised showdown Sunday night between Jon Lester and St. Louis ace Carlos Martinez.