Derrick Rose continues to have the unwavering support of his coaches and teammates despite now missing more than halve the team’s games this season due to various injuries.

If a guy is injured, he should sit, and if a guy is hurting, he should play,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau told ESPN following the team’s 103-88 Thursday night loss to Sacramento. “It’s really that simple. Right now, Derrick’s not ready to go. He’s injured. That’s where I stand on the issue. The guy’s had two major injuries; if he needs time, we’re going to give him time.”

In all, Rose has now missed seven of the Bulls 12 games this season, including three straight with a pulled left hamstring as they head into a Friday night cash with the Portland Trailblazers. Earlier in the year, Rose missed four games because of a pair of sprained ankles. His availability for Friday’s game remains up in the air.

In recent days, All-Star center Joakim Noah has admonished fans to “chill the f—k out” where his All-Star teammates and his health are concerned.

“I just, I don’t want to see him down,” said Noah. “I know sometimes it’s frustrating, you got injuries, you got tweaks. Every time something happens to him, people act like it’s the end of the world. And that’s f—ing so lame to me. Relax. Like, OK, he’s coming back from two crazy surgeries. Obviously we’re being conservative with him, and when things aren’t going right, he’s got to listen to his body more than anybody.”

The Bulls 98-4) could also be without veteran center Pau Gasol for a third straight game. Gasol continues to work his way back from a strained left calf.

“I didn’t feel a pop,” said Gasol. “It just started bothering me. It started being sore. I was hoping I got hit but I couldn’t recall getting hit. So then you had to figure it was a muscle strain, and strains usually take their time to heal and scar. So I’m just trying to let it heal.”

[Photo Credit: Keith Allison]

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