CHARLOTTEThough Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau spouted his standard game-time decision line about the status of All-Stars Derrick Rose and Luol Deng for Thursdays showdown with the Heat in Miami, he also joked that hes taking a positive outlook about the likelihood of the duo suiting up. One of the pair, Deng, is apparently on the same page.
Its getting better. Still a little sore, but its getting better, he said after watching his team blow out the lowly Bobcats. Ive been off it and just getting treatment.
Just mostly trying to get some motion, just moving it around. Trying to get the muscles to loosen up and just ice, and stim. I had trouble with some motion and weve been doing that to try to get my motion back, Deng continued. Were going to re-evaluate in the morning, but most likely, I should be able to go. But well see how it feels tomorrow.
Deng has missed two consecutive games after taking a shot to the ribs from former teammate Ben Gordon in the Bulls overtime win Sunday at Detroit. Hes also dealt with the effects of torn ligaments in his left wrist for the majority of the second half of the season.
Rose, on the other hand, has been dealing with soreness in his right foot the past two contests after missing a game due to spraining his right ankle. Before that, he he was sidelined for 12 consecutive games with a groin injury and that isnt even counting 10 absences because of turf toe and lower back spasms.
Thatll be a game-time decision. As you guys all know, Im an optimist. I think itll be good, quipped Thibodeau. Theyre making good progress. The first guy theyve got to get by is Fred Tedeschi, the Bulls team trainer. Fred has to clear them. They have to show that theyre confident and comfortable on the floor. It hasnt been easy for them, but I think theyre handling everything well and weve just got to make the right decision. The most important thing is the team playing well and being healthy, so weve got to take care of those two things going forward. So, thats what were going to do.
Added teammate Carlos Boozer: Theyre warriors, man. If they can, they will. I think its up to them and see how their body feels tomorrow when we tip, but theyve played through so many different injuries throughout their careers. Just this season alone, its countless injuries theyve played through.