First, Tom Thibodeau said "we'll see" when asked if Derrick Rose would play tonight. Then he said he probably won't play. By the time the Bulls coach was finishing up his session with media after the team's shootaround at the Berto Center on Tuesday morning, he said Rose was "out" tonight when the Kings visit the United Center.
Rose met with specialists Monday after missing back-to-back games with back pain that has been bothering him for two weeks. General manager Gar Forman said the MRI revealed no structural damage and that Rose remains day to day. Thibodeau reiterated that Tuesday.
A team spokesperson said Rose will speak with the media before tonight's game against the Kings.
"Each day he's feeling better but it's still not where we want it to be," Thibodeau said of Rose's sore back. "We're going to be patient."
There has been speculation that Rose is making the decision on whether he will or won't play by himself, which has been fueled by the MVP saying that it's his decision and he's the only one who knows how he feels.
While the second part of that statement is true enough, Thibodeau said Rose isn't making the decision alone.
"It's not just his decision," Thibodeau said. "There are a lot of people weighing in on it. We have a great medical staff, a great training staff. Their input is critical. His input is critical. We're certainly not going to do anything to jeopardize him being hurt."
Thibodeau, who has helped coach 15 teams to the playoffs in his 21 years in the league, said he's always concerned with the big picture.
"We want to play our best basketball at the end of the season and we want to be as healthy as possible. We never lose sight of that."