By Teddy Greenstein, Tribune reporter
11:57 AM EST, January 11, 2013
NEW YORK – Kirk Hinrich might be on the floor tonight for the Bulls, as his right elbow injury improves.
As for Derrick Rose, who also made the trip to New York, it sounds doubtful that he’ll watch Friday night’s game from the bench.
Asked Friday morning at the team’s shootaround at Madison Square Garden if Rose will begin watching games from the bench, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau replied: “He could. He’s still locked into doing some rehab stuff, and that’s the primary focus. Whether he sits on the bench or not, he’s here with us.”
Thibodeau added: “When he starts fully practicing, then he’ll probably be more on the bench. But if he can get that extra work in (during games), I’d rather have him doing that.”
Hinrich, who missed Wednesday’s game against Milwaukee, was merely an observer Friday morning and will be a gametime decision.
“I’m doing better,” he said. “We’ll evaluate it before the game.”
Hinrich injured the elbow, which was wrapped Friday, while pursuing a loose ball Monday against Cleveland. He was not clear on the actual diagnosis but said he felt “a pop” in his bursa – the cushion between bone and soft tissue – and that there was a risk of infection.
“That’s a real concern with this injury,” he said.
Hinrich has missed five games this season due to various ailments.
“It’s been a grind,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of stuff not go my way in terms of injuries, but I feel like we’ve been playing good basketball and every chance I have to get out there, I want to be out there. We’ll see how it goes.”
He said of the chance to play against the Knicks: “It’s a big game, a team that is ahead of us in the standings. And any time you can play in the Garden, it’s a little extra special.”
Thibodeau said he wants Hinrich back to “do what he normally does: Run the team, play great defense, keep us organized.”
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