Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose reportedly said his injured right shoulder won’t stop him from playing in Wednesday night’s Game 2 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Rose, who’s playing in his longest stint off the injury list after sustaining three major knee injuries over the last three years, suffered a stinger in the fourth quarter of Chicago’s Game 1 99-92 victory.
The Bulls own a 1-0 lead over LeBron James and the Cavs in the Eastern Conference semifinals, with a healthy Rose pouring in a team-high 25 points along with five assists in 38 minutes.
But Rose injured his shoulder while running through a pick set by Cavs center Tristan Thompson and grimaced in pain while Bulls fans held their collective breath.
The 2011 league MVP brushed off concerns about his status for Game 2 at Quicken Loans Arena.
“My shoulder’s alright,” Rose told ESPN. “I’m not worried about it. That’s a blessing. Just trying to get off my feet and get a little bit of rest today.”
A stinger is typically a more minor injury with a recovery time that varies in each case. Rose has a checkered injury history, so some may question whether or not he’s 100 percent as the Bulls try to take a commanding lead in the series before it turns back to Chicago for Games 3 and 4.
During the regular season, Rose underwent surgery to repair a tear in the medial meniscus in his right knee and missed 20 games while rehabbing. Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau slowly worked Rose back into the lineup in the final five games of the regular season, monitoring his minutes in the process and never allowing his court time to exceed 28 minutes.
Thus far during the postseason, Rose has averaged 19 points, 6.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game, but he’s still working on his timing and fluidity in the offense. Turnovers have been a major issue, with Rose on average coughing up 4.3 giveaways per game, including eight in the Game 4 loss to Milwaukee in the first round.
Chicago certainly has other weapons to alleviate any pressure on Rose on the offensive end of the court, specifically All-Star shooting guard and leading scorer Jimmy Butler and big man Pau Gasol. Yet Rose brings another dimension to the Bulls attack, and can be just as important to Chicago's success as distributor than as a passer.
Game 2 tips off at 7 p.m.