SUNS AT BULLS, 8 P.M. ET

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  • You can probably see it on the Internet if you want to, but Bulls guard Derrick Rose made a very public appearance before the Bulls-Suns game Saturday, running sprints along the sideline while both teams warmed up. Under the watchful eye of Bulls strength and conditioning coach Erik Helland, Rose ran dashes and laughed with members of the Phoenix Suns as they warmed up. Unlike most other very private training sessions he has had in trying to come back from his ACL surgery, this one took place after the United Center opened up for fans, many of whom took advantage to take photos and video of Rose working out. Team officials still have not placed a timetable on Rose’s return.
  • Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich will play in a second consecutive game despite suffering a severe cut on his right elbow last week. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau downplayed the injury while admitting Hinrich remains “day-to-day”. “That’s what happens over the course of a season,” Thibodeau said. “He’s got to take care of it (with) the way he plays, but he is fine today.” Hinrich has missed five games this season due to injury, one for a right hip injury, three because of a left knee and one because of his right elbow.
  • Suns starting forward Jared Dudley suffered a jammed finger in the game against Brooklyn Friday and will miss Saturday’s game against the Bulls. Phoenix coach Alvin Gentry said Shannon Brown will start in Dudley’s place.
  • The Suns have lost 12 straight road games, and the game against the Bulls is their fourth road game in five days. “We have competed on this road trip and been in the game up to the fourth quarter in Milwaukee and Boston,” Suns coach Alvin Gentry said. “We just haven’t made the necessary plays to come away with a win.”
  • Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said the media makes too much of a big deal over road record vs. home record. The Bulls are 10-9 at home and 10-5 on the road. They are also 9-1 against Eastern Conference opponents as the road team. “You are dealing with a lot of variables,” Thibodeau said. “There are a lot of moving parts, guys moving in and out of lineups, where you are in your schedule.  Over the season that happens quite a bit.”

Kent McDill

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