If you're confused about Derrick Rose's injury status, you're not alone.
The Bulls' starting point guard has been day-to-day for 2½ weeks and on Monday coach Vinny Del Negro sent a series of mixed signals concerning when Rose might return to the court.
Rose didn't play in the Bulls' 101-98 loss to the Orlando Magic. He ran some before the game and reported no pain in his troublesome right ankle. The hope is that Rose will return to the practice court some time this week and play in the preseason finale Friday night, but there's no definitive plan.
"He's getting better, felling better, but it's the old thing of day-to-day," Del Negro said. "We'll see how he feels [Tuesday]. We need to get him some practice time, and hopefully, that happens this week."
When asked after the game if it's possible Rose won't be ready for the opener against San Antonio on Oct. 29, Del Negro said: "Yes, it's in the realm of possibility."
When pressed about that issue - because he indicated it wasn't a possibility just a few days ago - Del Negro backtracked a bit: "I don't think he will [miss the opener], but I thought he would be back the other day."
More from Del Negro: "It's an unusual injury. It's a different injury. I want to make sure it's healed up. He's getting a little better every day. But I don't want to bring him back and the next day he's sore or the next day it's re-injured. We want to heal it up."
Whether Rose practices on Tuesday won't be determined until just before it begins, but he definitely won't participate in the contact portion of the workout.
"It's killing me not to be out there," Rose said. "I'm praying I get out there.
"[The doctors] haven't said anything. If they see me running right or maybe if I trick them, I'll be out there playing."
When that happens is anybody's guess right now. Although it's highly unlikely he won't play in the opener against San Antonio.