DENVER -- Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose's left hamstring hampered him in the first half of Tuesday night's game against the Denver Nuggets, and he did not return for the second half as the Bulls fell 114-109.
The Bulls officially listed the injury as left hamstring tightness, but Rose said after the game his hamstring was fine and he did not have a setback. He was "just trying to be smart" given his recent injury history.
"It wasn't nothing like I'm limping or I pulled it or anything, it wasn't any of that," Rose said. "It was just that I wasn't moving the way I wanted to while I was on the floor. So why push through it when I wasn't able to affect the game the way I wanted to? I came in here and talked to (Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau) and we both agreed on just sitting out."
Rose was 1-for-4 from the field for two points in 10 minutes, but was not aggressive when he was on the floor. Rose acknowledged that Thibodeau initiated the conversation at halftime and Rose agreed with his coach's decision because he was having a hard time moving around on both ends of the floor against the Nuggets' high-tempo offense.
"It's frustrating," Rose said. "But you can't let it get me down. I know that at the end (the setbacks) are just going to be minor but it's a long season and we just got to keep going and I know the team, they're not worried about me. I should be good."
Rose returned to the floor in Monday night's win over the Utah Jazz after missing the previous four games because of the same injury. He scored 18 points in 25 minutes. The Bulls are already playing without Joakim Noah (left eye/left knee) and Taj Gibson (left ankle).
Rose has missed eight games already this season, four others because of sprained ankles.
After Monday's win over the Jazz, Thibodeau expressed frustration when asked about whether Rose looked fatigued during the second half.
"Oh, I don't know. Jesus. He's got to get out there and play," Thibodeau said. "I thought he did a lot of good things. You could see he's not real comfortable with the ball yet, but that will come. When Derrick strings some games together, he's going to take off. He's got to go. That's the bottom line. He's got to go."
On Tuesday, Thibodeau took a more protective tone in regard to his star point guard's ailing body.
"They'll re-examine him but there was really nothing that happened other than I didn't want to take any chances with him," Thibodeau said. "The way the game was going, the way we were going, I just felt at that point I wanted to go a different way. He didn't re-injure himself or anything like that."
Thibodeau said he did not believe Rose would have to get an MRI and was hopeful Rose would be able to play Friday afternoon against the Boston Celtics.
Rose, who has not started and finished two consecutive games this season, admitted that the entire process of trying to return to the floor after two serious knee injuries has been "humbling."
"Very humbling," Rose said. "But I just know my destiny is big. (Injuries are) just putting me through a lot right now for some reason, I don't know, who knows, but the only thing I can do is stay consistent with my workouts and get the most out of every day and everything else is out of my control."