Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau says the team has not set a deadline for Derrick Rose to return from his knee injury.
Rose tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during last year’s playoff opener against the Philadelphia 76ers. His comeback remains the biggest story surrounding the team.
Thibodeau keeps saying Rose is close and there’s ”no drop-dead date,” adding ”whenever he’s ready, he’s ready.”
The former MVP wasn’t ready to play Thursday against the surging New York Knicks.
Joakim Noah (right foot) and Taj Gibson (sprained left knee) were also out, but Luol Deng returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games with an injured right hip.
Richard Hamilton (back) and Marco Belinelli (abdominal strain), who have missed time lately, were available. Belinelli was starting at shooting guard.
The Knicks were short-handed, too, as they tried to extend their win streak to 14 games.
Tyson Chandler (bulging disc) missed his second straight game. Kenyon Martin sat this one out after severely spraining his left ankle Tuesday against Washington, another blow after he returned from a two-game absence because of a sore left knee.
Marcus Camby, who has missed most of the season with foot problems, remained sidelined after being listed as doubtful. The Knicks were also without big men Rasheed Wallace (broken left foot), Amare Stoudemire (right knee debridement) and Kurt Thomas (right foot stress reaction).