“It feels the same,” Rose said Wednesday of being close to playing again. “I’ve been putting a lot of work in, busting my (tail) to get back and I’m just happy that I’m able to come back to a team where I think we’re playing all right basketball. I think defensively we’re playing good, so offensively I shouldn’t have to worry about it, just come back and play the way that I normally play.”
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said at a shootaround Wednesday that Rose would play about 20 minutes in his first game back.
“Just him being on the floor is a plus for our team,” Thibodeau said. “I’m not expecting him to play 35 minutes. I’m not expecting him to score 30 points. Just go out there, run the team, play to your strengths, cover up your weaknesses, make your teammates better. That’s all I want him to do.”
Thibodeau hopes Rose also will be able to play in the second half of Thursday’s back-to-back against the Miami Heat. The Bulls have five games remaining in the regular season.
“I’m going to be winded for sure,” Rose said. “Just missing so many weeks, so many days, you’re going to be winded. But that comes along with just coming back from surgery. And just not playing the game in a couple weeks.”
In 46 games this season, Rose has averaged 18.4 points, 5.0 assists and 3.1 rebounds.