Derrick Rose returned to practice on Sunday for the Chicago Bulls and the team is hoping the All-Star guard might be able to return to the lineup Monday night against the Utah Jazz.

Rose has sat the last four games with a strained left hamstring and overall has missed eight of the team’s 13 games this season, having also suffered a pair of sprained ankles earlier in the year. Rose suffered the hamstring injury during a Nov. 13 road win against Toronto.

“Hopefully, Derrick will get to a point where he can string some games together,” said Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. “And when that happens, the rust will come off. From what we’ve seen thus far when he’s been out there, he has looked great. We just have to get him out there.”

In the five games he’s played in, Rose has averaged 18 points, five assists and three rebounds. All season long, the Bulls have been hard hit by injuries.

Veteran center Pau Gasol has also missed the last several games with a pulled calf muscle. Gasol also returned to practice on Sunday and pronounced his chances of returning to action on Monday as “pretty high.”

Good thing for the Bulls, who figure to be without top reserve Taj Gibson, who suffered a left sprained ankle in the team’s 105-87 Friday night loss to Portland.

In all, the Bulls have had their starting lineup of Rose, Gasol, Jimmy Butler, Joakim Noah and Mike Dunleavy for just two games. Reserve guard Kirk Hinrich also missed Friday’s game with bruised ribs and a chest contusion. He is also expected to be out Monday.

“Injuries are part of the game,” Gasol said. “I don’t think anybody is frustrated at this point, but we are facing adversity as far as guys not being able to go. It’s hard to get the full roster healthy at the same time. Once we get it, it will be great.”

[Photo Credit: Wahoo]

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