Bulls coach upbeat on Rose fitness

Derrick RoseChicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau is confident star man Derrick Rose can avoid the injury problems that wrecked his campaign last season (Chicago Bulls 7/1 – NBA Championship Outright).

Rose missed the entirety of the 2012/13 season with a serious injury to his left knee and he managed just a handful of appearances last term before being ruled out for the remainder of the campaign in November as he was struck by a similar issue to his right knee.

The 25-year-old has been in action over the summer as he was a member of the USA team that won the 2014 FIBA World Cup, where Thibodeau worked as an assistant coach for the States.

Rose’s fitness could well be crucial to the Bulls’ hopes of landing the NBA Championship and Thibodeau believes the 2011 MVP has managed his recovery well and is optimistic on his chances of remaining fit over the course of the season, while urging the point guard to continue to proceed with caution.

“Last year, he was trying to get it all back in one day,” Thibodeau said. “Right before he got reinjured, he started to find a good rhythm again. So he was 10 games into (the regular season). I think this time, he’s not rushing like he did.

“But, still, there’s a fine line for him. Be aggressive, find a rhythm, but don’t force it. I don’t want him over thinking. I want him to play.”

The Bulls are 3/1 to win the Eastern Conference, with the Cleveland Cavaliers installed as EVS favourites and the Miami Heat are 12/1.

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