Friday, March 19, 2010
By Aggrey Sam
Prior to tonight's matchup with the Cavaliers, Bulls head coach Vinny Del Negro disclosed the current status of his ailing roster, specifically Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Luol Deng.
Rose, who had hoped to play in tonight's game, won't be in the lineup, as he continues to recover from the sprained left wrist he suffered against Orlando last week.
"Derrick will not play tonight. His wrist is still very sore, he's still stiff. He still has some inflammation in there," said Del Negro. "He's still struggling to dribble w that left hand."
Concerning Noah, Del Negro commented, "If he does play," citing a potential return after a now 10-game hiatus, "it will be very limited."
Along with Rose, Noah was also evaluated after the team's shootaround prior to the game. While neither player will be in action tonight, they will both be re-evaluated before Saturday night's contest in Philadelphia against the 76ers.
As for Deng, the small forward suffered a setback in his recovery from a strained right calf muscle. Deng apparently tried to warm up before Wednesday's loss to the Mavericks in Dallas, and was capably performing all of the required drills until "straight-ahead jogging" caused him some pain, according to Del Negro.
"Luol's going to be out for two to three weeks," said Del Negro. "He's got more inflammation now than he did before, so that's a setback."
Although Deng "was feeling a lot better" and "the inflammation went down" prior to Wednesday's development, according to Del Negro, a subsequent MRI showed he had more fluid in his calf than before re-aggravating the injury. Deng will be re-evaluated in two weeks.
"I'm concerned about all of them, but guys are going to heal as they heal," said Del Negro.
"It's definitely March Madness," he quipped. "It has nothing to do with college basketball around here."
"Derrick, Luol, Joakim--they definitely want to be out there," he continued. "We want to get back to winning and playing the way were capable of."
When asked about the Bulls' treacherous recent schedule easing up a little bit after tonight, possibly leading to some gins in the win column for the Bulls, Del Negro put things in perspective.
"We don't have our team. Everybody thinks that playing some of the teams that have lesser records are very easy," he observed. "It doesn't work like that."
"Other guys are getting opportunities--a lot of younger guys," continued Del Negro. "We're short-handed in a lot of areas so even when the schedule breaks, there's no easy games for us."
Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.coms Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.