Derrick Rose said after today’s shootaround that he plans on playing in the Wolves' game tonight with Denver at Target Center. It’s an 8 p.m. tip-off, remember.
Rose has missed the last three games with ligament pain in his right ankle. Ankle pain has been a constant for Rose this season, with that pain often flaring after having played significant minutes.In all, pain has kept him out of 13 games this season, including a six-game stretch from late December into early January.
But, after dressing but not playing in the last three games, he’s ready to give it a go.
“Feel good,’’ he said. “Still going to work my way back into playing rhythm, easy my way back into the game. But I’m happy I did get the time off to really get myself balanced. Give it a go tonight, and just see how things go. And, like I said, ease my way back into it.’’
Easier said than done, of course. Rose himself joked that he can talk all he wants about easing his way back into action when he’s not on the court. “I’m saying this now because I’m not on the court,’’ he said. “Sounds good right now. But when I’m in the game I have a different mentality.’’
Still, the key he said is to ease off the throttle at times. “You can’t get it all back in one play, one quarter, one game. Just try to take my time and feel the game out first before I try to go all-out.’’
Having Rose back is a big deal for a team that has been hurting mightily at the point guard spot, with both Jeff Teague and Tyus Jones injured. Jerryd Bayless has been starting, and the team signed Isaiah Canaan to a 10-day contract before Wednesday’s game against Memphis.
Especially recently, Rose said that the pain has been an issue even when he was playing. He pointed to his three-point shooting as an example. Still shooting over 40 percent for the season, Rose has made just four of 21 threes in six January games.
“I was thinking more about my landing than about my shot,’’ he said. “All my shots were flat. Of course I had to take ‘em. But that’s one of the reasons I had to take a break, when I was out there and thinking too much instead of reacting. That’s when I know something is wrong.’’
Rose said he and Wolves coach Ryan Saunders have talked about a more strict limit on minutes.
“I trust Ryan, I trust him,’’ Rose said. “He has a good heart, and he knows the situation I’m in.’’
Rose has dealt with ankle pain in the past. But his more recent issues have been new territory.
“This is my first time dealing with a ligament problem in my ankle,’’ he said. “All the other time it was bone spurs, and I played my way around it, got used to it. But the ligament is a little bit tricky.’’