"You can’t miss the amount of time that he’s missed and get it all back right away," said Thibodeau of Rose. "I think everyone has to be patient. There’s going to be ups, there’s going to be downs. Just keep putting one foot in front of another, and put everything you have into each day. It will work out."
Bill Smith/Chicago Bulls

Rose starts against Bucks in Milwaukee

The contents of this page have not been reviewed or endorsed by the Chicago Bulls. All opinions expressed by Sam Smith are solely his own and do not reflect the opinions of the Chicago Bulls or its Basketball Operations staff, parent company, partners, or sponsors. His sources are not known to the Bulls and he has no special access to information beyond the access and privileges that go along with being an NBA accredited member of the media. 

By Sam Smith | 11.05.2014 | 6:44 p.m. CT | asksam@bulls.com | @SamSmithHoops

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said to relax.

Yes, this is how bad the latest Derrick Rose injury stuff is getting that four games into the season and after missing two games with a sprained ankle—a very routine NBA injury that often leaves players out a week—Thibodeau is telling people they are too uptight.

Now, aren’t you embarrassed that Thibodeau says you are out of control?

Rose was named a starter shortly before game time.

“He’ll get back, he’ll get back,” Thibodeau assured and reassured media about Rose before the Bulls played the Bucks Wednesday. “It’s going to take time. You can’t miss the amount of time that he’s missed and get it all back right away. I think everyone has to be patient. There’s going to be ups, there’s going to be downs. Just keep putting one foot in front of another, and put everything you have into each day. It will work out.

“As I mentioned the other day,” Thibodeau went on, “where he is today versus where he was a month ago or two months ago, he’s made up quite a bit of ground. Now what you don’t plan on is sprained ankle. And in this case there’s two (ankles sprained). And you wonder why it doesn’t happen more often. He’s got to deal with that. Part of that is the physicality of playing all the time, and that’s why I do feel it’s important for him to be out there. But at the same time, you can’t put someone out there that’s not comfortable being out there. We wouldn’t do that for any of our players, so that’s just the way it is.”

So, of course, came the talk radio demand that this all proves Rose isn’t tough enough. Of course, this comes amidst the complaints that Bulls players play too much and need more rest.

“Well, he can’t get wrapped up in it,” Thibodeau said. “Whether it’s the MVP year, and everyone praising him like there was no room for improvement, or whether it’s criticism. It’s all the same. You’ve got to put that aside. You really only answer to yourself. Only you know how much you’re putting into each and every day. Once you’ve determined you’re giving all that you have, that’s all you can do, and you should be fine with that. So whether it’s praise or criticism, really shouldn’t matter. He’s strong minded. This comeback’s not going to be easy, and he knows that, understands that. He’s just got to keep grinding away. It will work out.”

Thibodeau said the procedure remains the same as Rose works out and discusses his situation with the doctors and trainers and then a recommendation is made.

“It’s always been that way,” said Thibodeau. “That’s not a change. When a player gets injured, deal with the trainer and the doctor. Often times that happens in a game. When you’re in a game and a player gets nicked up, the trainer is the one that tells you whether he can go or not. He’s got to make sure he’s cleared by the medical people, and once that happens he’ll get out there.”

As to pregame confusion about whether Rose would start the previous two games, Thibodeau explained: “He’s done a good job of getting himself ready. He’s handled everything well. Sprained ankles, that’s part of the game, it happens. You deal with it. He’s getting his treatment and when he’s comfortable to go he’ll be out there. It’s really that simple. I think we tend to try and read into it, and there’s nothing to read into. It is what it is. Part of it, just to be honest, part of it is there’s a new league protocol (on reporting injuries) and we’re trying to be as up front as we can be with probable, questionable, and honestly, we don’t know. He gets treatment during the day. Then he goes out there and warms up before, and you guys are seeing it like we’re seeing it. He’s got to be comfortable enough to play, and that’s where it is.”

“I guess we should probably say he’s out until we know he’s going to play,” said Thibodeau. “I don’t know what the right answer is other than there’s league protocol; we’re trying to follow that. It’s probable, questionable, and that’s what we’re trying to do. He’s dealing with a sprained ankle.”

There is no Next, a book by Sam Smith