Derrick Rose is suffering from a turf toe injury and has sat out the past two games, but the Chicago Bulls should elect to sit Rose until they face the Miami Heat on Jan. 29 so their star point guard can heal properly.
Rose had what was initially described as a sprained left big toe that has been bothering him most of the season. Recently, The Chicago Tribune reported that D-Rose's condition was upgraded to turf toe, an injury that only gets better with rest.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said for Rose to come back onto the hardwood, a collective decision would be made by himself, Rose and the training staff.
While Rose is an elite performer and competitor, Thibodeau and the Bulls' staff should seriously consider not playing Rose until Chicago faces the Miami Heat on the road. Rose cannot rush back from his turf toe, or the injury could linger with him throughout the year.
The Bulls are an elite team and have proved they could win without their superstar, going 2-1 in his absence.
The following week sees mostly subpar competition coming to the United Center. The Bulls' challengers will be the New Jersey Nets sans Brook Lopez, the Indiana Pacers and a struggling Milwaukee Bucks squad.
If the Bulls decide to sit Rose, they could easily go 4-1 in that stretch, which puts Chicago at a solid 17-4 record.
Besides the schedule, guards C.J. Watson and Richard Hamilton have returned from injury and have played like studs. Watson is a definite upgrade over John Lucas III at the point and scores well without taking many shots.
Hamilton spreads the floor and is able to hit his jump shots and distribute the ball well. When Hamilton plays, the Bulls average over 102 points a night.
Plus, center Joakim Noah is starting to find his rhythm by pulling down two double-doubles in the past four contests. Noah's improved play automatically makes the Bulls a more dangerous team.
With Rose's teammates playing better and the schedule being relatively light, having him rest his turf toe injury would be the right move. The Bulls would learn how to win even if Rose isn't on the court while Rose would be ready to go the rest of the season.
A big part of Rose's game is his aggressive slashing style to the hoop, which has a high chance of re-aggravating his turf toe if not properly healed and would negatively effect his driving speed.
Rose's return to action against the Heat would give the NBA's MVP more than two weeks recuperation and he would be ready to go off against a team that bounced them in last year's playoffs.
The Heat contest would also be the first in a season-high nine-game road trip, which will test the Bulls both mentally and physically to the max.
Rose is an asset whenever he's on the court, but the Bulls don't want their biggest asset to be hampered with a season-long injury if they could help it.