Butler set to return to Bulls' lineup, Rose off crutches

Butler set to return to Bulls' lineup, Rose off crutches
January 13, 2014, 3:45 pm
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Following a one-game absence Saturday due a left-thigh injury, Jimmy Butler participated in the Bulls’ morning shootaround at the United Center and is slated to play in Monday night’s game against Washington.

“He looks good,” Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said of the team’s starting shooting guard, who suffered the injury during Friday’s win in Milwaukee, causing him to miss the subsequent evening’s home victory over Charlotte. “He went through the whole shootaround. Feels a lot better. Ready to go.”

At 17-18, the Bulls, winners of five consecutive games, have a chance to get back to the .500 mark, as well as to remain the Eastern Conference’s fifth-place team, the Wizards.

“They’re extremely fast and they’ve taken on some injuries, but they’re playing well together,” Thibodeau said of his squad’s opponent. “[Bradley] Beal and [John] Wall are a tremendous backcourt. [Trevor] Ariza has improved every year in the league.

“They’re big up front and they have quality depth. When you’re looking at that frontline, when that ball’s up on the board, we’ve got to be in the fight,” the coach continued. “Nene’s coming off the bench. He can score big on you. [Kevin] Seraphin can hurt you off the bench. [Marcin] Gortat’s just a hard-nosed tough guy inside that, if he gets the ball deep, he’s going to hurt you. He’s a great screener, hard competitor.

“So they’ve got a lot of weapons.”

[MORE: Bulls face Wall, Wizards tonight on CSN]

In other injury-related news, sidelined point guard Derrick Rose continues to make progress in his rehabilitation from his season-ending right-knee injury and surgery to repair his torn medial meniscus.

“He’s coming along fine. He’s off the crutches. He’s doing more and more, but he still has a long way to go,” Thibodeau said about Rose. “But he’ll probably start traveling in the next couple weeks. But he’s doing great.”