Luol Deng

Luol Deng was in the emergency room undergoing a spinal tap for viral meningitis. Kirk Hinrich, immobilized by a bruised calf, was limited to cheerleader role. Nate Robinson was so queasy he leaned over a garbage pail during his turns on the bench. Feverish Taj Gibson had the shakes. Joakim Noah was limping or grimacing or on edge about when the next flare-up of plantar fasciitis would force him to sit.

The injured, sick and exhausted Chicago Bulls arrive at AmericanAirlines Arena Monday night for Game 1 of their second-round NBA playoff series against a Miami Heat team that has been sleeping like a baby for an entire week.

Now would be the perfect time for Derrick Rose to make his comeback. The Bulls, who almost gagged against the Brooklyn Nets before surviving Game 7 on Saturday, need bodies in uniform. Rose has been wearing a suit.

But don’t count on Rose coming to the rescue. The dynamic point guard — MVP of the league two years ago — has been out since major knee surgery on May 12, 2012. After a grueling rehab, Rose returned to full-court scrimmaging Feb. 18. Doctors cleared him to play. But Rose has not felt right. A strange waiting game has persisted since.

– Reported by Linda Robertson of the Miami Herald