Spots in the second round are quickly filling up here in the NBA playoffs, with only Game 7 standing in the way of setting the final eight. Most eager to see their foe: the Heat, who will get the winner of Saturday’s Nets-Bulls finale. If it’s Chicago, Miami will be wondering whether the Bulls will activate a certain star point guard. For this week’s Throwin’ Elbows, we’re hoping so:

We’ve seen Warriors forward David Lee, slated to be out for the rest of the postseason with a torn hip flexor, at least suit up and attempt to give his team a few possessions. We’ve seen Bulls guard Nate Robinson, struck with a stomach virus, in the starting lineup, scoring 18 points and playing 42 minutes despite needing to curl up with a trash can so he could vomit during timeouts. We’ve seen his teammate, Joakim Noah, hobble through games with plantar fasciitis, and one of his opponents, Nets guard Joe Johnson, do the same.

Yet we still haven’t seen Derrick Rose. And the more we see other players sucking up their own health woes, the harder it is to give Rose a pass for his continued absence from a team that desperately needs him. The Bulls are so battered by injuries that Robinson was one of four starters to play 42-plus minutes in Thursday’s Game 6 loss, the bench giving the team just seven points in a combined 28 minutes.

Rose won’t be back for Saturday’s Game 7 against the Nets in Brooklyn, that much is clear. For his teammates and coaches, that’s not a problem—at least publicly, they’ve been saying all the right things, supporting Rose’s decision to continue to sit out following last year’s ACL surgery. “We don’t worry about Derrick,” Bulls star Luol Deng said at the outset of the Nets series. “We have played all year with our team the way it is. Whenever Derrick is ready to play, he will play.”

Of course, Rose actually is ready to play, and no matter what his teammates say, his continued absence has to be registering with them. Starting guard Kirk Hinrich has been out with a calf injury, which has forced coach Tom Thibodeau to use either rookie Marquis Teague or to simply go without a point guard. The Bulls haven’t needed Rose to give them 35 minutes and average 25 points. They just need warm bodies that can be effective in 15-20 minutes per game.