After an abbreviated practice session Saturday morning at the Berto Center in Deerfield, Derrick Rose announced that the decision was his on whether he plays in Sunday's matinee matchup with the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden.
“It's really not up to [Tom Thibodeau], it's up to me,” said Rose. “If I'm feeling good, I'm going to play.”
When asked if there would be any minute restrictions imposed upon him if he does play, Rose said that decision was his to make as well.
"I think it's up to me if I play a certain amount of minutes if I do choose to play. I know if it's a close game, I know that no matter how many minutes I play, I know I'm gonna want to go out there. I'll probably fight somebody to go out there," said Rose with a laugh.
With sitting so many consecutive games and practices, conditioning would be an obvious concern. But Rose insists he's been doing whatever it takes to make sure he's ready to go.
"I'm not worried about my conditioning. I've been running a lot since I've been able to run. I've been working out in the pool, working on my cardio, so I should be alright," he said.
Rose also said he's been able to play with the explosion and aggressive changes in direction that he's known for throughout the League.
"We played 1-on-1 in practice where we had isolation plays -- just getting to the hole -- I did do that today. We played 3-on-3 yesterday and it went pretty well where I was cutting a lot, a lot of 1-on-1 action sticking John Lucas with how fast he is, just chasing him around. It felt good," he said.
Although there has been no "official" announcement on Derrick' status for Sunday, it's obvious that he's tired of sitting on the sidelines watching and is ready to get back to competing on the court.
The team would obviously like to be as careful with him as possible, but a player knows his body and Rose obviously feels he's ready to go.
If he does play, it'll be nice to once again see the Bulls entire starting lineup together. It'll also be interesting to see what kind of chemistry they display with each other, especially against the team they could possibly have to face in the first round of the Playoffs in a few weeks.