Derrick Rose won't face Nuggets

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said that guard Derrick Rose missed his seventh consecutive game with a groin injury Monday as Chciago lost 108-91 to the Denver Nuggets.

Rose just started running on a treadmill on Sunday, and while he said he's feeling better, Thibodeau has insisted he won't rush back the MVP.

"It's day by day," Rose said after the morning shootaround.
"It's getting better every day. I'm able to move a little bit more; getting treatment twice a day, so hopefully I'll be out there soon."

It was the 17th game this season the 23-year-old has missed with a variety of injuries, including turf toe and back spasms.

He admitted that the injuries may be related.

"Probably so," Rose said. "When you think about it, it's all my lower body, and I think so, but hopefully after all this treatment and therapy I've been getting, it goes away."

The Bulls are 12-5 during Rose's absence.

"I'm trying to rush back as quick as possible, but (my) groin, this is my first time ever injuring that and it takes a little time," Rose said. "Every day it's getting better, but they're playing great without me, where they're rebounding the ball great. I think that's the reason we're winning these games because our rebounding ... but they're playing good."

But while the Bulls have been able to post the best record in the NBA, few would give them a chance to beat the Miami Heat in the playoffs without their captain. Rose may be fresher in the postseason after missing so many regular-season games.

"Hopefully, I missed a lot of games, man, so hopefully when I'm out there you see someone with fresh legs and with a lot of energy," he said. "I know my conditioning will be a concern, but hopefully the more games I play and get ready for the playoffs, I should be all right.

"Right when I feel that I'm ready, I'm going to go out there and play, no matter who says whatever, the call is up to me. Right when I feel like I'm 100 percent, or close to it, I'm going get out there and play."

Rose worked on more set shots after practice with assistant coach Ron Adams.