Bulls Game Day: Hamilton to return - Chicago Tribune

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Bulls Game Day: Hamilton to return - Chicago Tribune
Mar 31st 2012, 00:24

Richard Hamilton

Bulls guard Richard Hamilton (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Tribune photo) (March 30, 2012)

By Teddy Greenstein, Tribune reporter

7:20 p.m. CDT, March 30, 2012

After a reporter told Lawrence Frank before Friday's game that Derrick Rose would not play, the Pistons coach replied: "You sure about this? You positive? Until I see it, I won't believe it."

Frank was more confident about Richard Hamilton's status, preparing his team as if Hamilton would return to the lineup for the first time since injuring his right shoulder March 5.

"He dons the jersey when he sees the Pistons," Frank cracked.

It's true.

He played 32 minutes in Detroit on Jan. 4 but re-aggravated a groin injury, forcing him to miss the Bulls' next eight games.

Hamilton is 34 years old and has missed 36 of Chicago's 52 games this season with leg and shoulder injuries. So the Bulls are being extra cautious.

"He has done a great job with his rehab," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "His lower body is completely healthy. He is moving great, which is critical for anybody, for his shooting and defense. And he has worked hard with his shoulder. We just have to be patient. When he's completely healthy, he goes."

Shortly before the game, the Bulls determined that Hamilton would play.

Thibodeau said the plan was to monitor Hamilton's minutes. The coach said there was "not much" of a distinction on whether he would start or came off the bench.

Ronnie Brewer started at shooting guard.

Twitter @TeddyGreenstein

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