ESPN Chicago's Nick Friedell passed along that colleague Doris Burke spoke with Rose prior to the Bulls game on Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers. According to the report, Rose said his hamstrings were "on fire" after workouts.
While this certainly isn't good news for the Bulls, it is far better than Rose suffering a setback in his surgically repaired knee.
As Friedell notes, Rose has been going at full strength, contact and all, in practices. Also, ESPNChicago.com reported on March 9 that Rose had been given complete medical clearance, but that the star would not return until he could "confidently dunk off his left foot."
Returning from a blown knee can certainly lead to a mental block that wouldn't instill a great amount of confidence, and sore hamstrings are not going to help this along—that lack of confidence is probably warranted.
Hamstrings can be fickle, and tightness can quickly lead to a pull, which would be a huge setback to Rose's attempts to return to action.
The Bulls currently sit at 35-28, which has them in fifth place in the Eastern Conference. While they have a comfortable 10.5-game lead on the ninth spot, just 2.5 games separate them from the eighth spot.
They also have not been playing particularly well as of late. Chicago has lost 11 of its last 18 games.
The Bulls could certainly use Rose's services to help reverse this trend. However, the focus must remain on having him healthy for the postseason.
With just over a month left in the regular season, there is still time for Rose to get over this hamstring issue and get back in time to get his game legs under him for the playoffs.
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