DENVER — Derrick Rose can relate to sidelined backcourt partner Jimmy Butler, as he has experienced a turf-toe injury in the past, during the 2011-12 lockout-shortened campaign, in which the former league MVP suffered a litany of various ailments even before a torn ACL ended his season in the Bulls’ opening playoff game.
The point guard revealed that he’s still plagued by the lingering injury, and while he didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night — the Bulls favor more upscale hotels on the road — he sounded very knowledgeable about treatment of the issue.
“You’ve got to get treatment. You’ve got to get the swelling to come down because I think his foot is a little bit swollen. I think he’s wearing a boot now, but really walk around as soon as you can so that you feel like a little bit of pressure, so you can get used to it. But I think that he knows everything because of what the doctors tell him, so I don’t want to sound like I’m a doctor or anything," Rose said before the Bulls’ morning shootaround Thursday at the Pepsi Center, where they will take on the Nuggets in the evening. “I’ve still got it. I think it’s an injury that you’ve just got to get the toe back mobile, get it moving again. For me, I hope that he hurries up and rushes back, but he’s still got to be patient."
While reserves Kirk Hinrich and Mike Dunleavy Jr. are the two candidates to take over Butler’s starting shooting-guard role — Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said he’s “undecided” about which of the veterans will get the assignment — Rose, along with All-Star small forward Luol Deng, could see an increase in his minutes due to Butler’s absence.
“I hope so,” he said. “But if not, I’m cool with that, too.
“I’m good, man. I’m feeling good, I’m feeling energized. Just ready to get out here and play. My rhythm is coming back a little bit more and as a team, I think we’re playing good basketball, so that’s the only thing that I’m worried about,” Rose continued. “It’s going to be tough (playing without Butler), but at the same time, it’s the NBA. The next guy has got to come in and fill in for him, and I think all the guys are getting ready for it. I think we’re going to have a great trip.”
The Chicago native has stated in the past that he cherishes the Bulls’ road trips from a camaraderie aspect but also listed another positive Thursday.
“I love them, actually. Gives you time to rest a little bit. Me being from Chicago or just playing in the city I grew up in, you tend to go eat places, do stuff like that,” Rose explained. “Here, you’re really in the hotel majority of the time.”