Derrick Rose on return to Bulls: 'I won’t mind missing this year'
BY JOE COWLEY firstname.lastname@example.org February 13, 2013 9:58PM
Bulls guard Derrick Rose works out at the United Center before the Chicago Bulls play the Atlanta Hawks Monday January 14, 2013. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times
Updated: February 14, 2013 10:50AM
BOSTON – Derrick Rose will be the one that makes the decision on when he will return from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, and from the sound of it, his decision, and only his decision, will be the final one.
Now swallow hard, because from the sound of it, Rose is prepared to not only sit out the remainder of the season, but will be fine with that scenario if he feels it’s in his interest.
Following a 71-69 loss to the Boston Celtics at the TD Garden on Wednesday, Rose addressed the local media for the first time since the regular season started, and didn’t exactly paint the prettiest picture of where he was with just two months left in the regular season.
“I really don’t know,’’ Rose responded, when asked if he saw a return for the 2013 playoff run. “I’m feeling good, but like I said if it’s where it’s taking me a long time and I’m still not feeling right, I won’t mind missing this year.
“I would love to [play], I would love to. That’s why I’m approaching my rehab so hard. I’m trying to get back on the court as quickly as possible, but if I have anything lingering on, it’s no point.’’
Rose just completed a week of going one-on-one and three-on-three in practice, taking full-contact along the way and has had no setbacks.
“So that’s a good thing right now to go in every day knowing you’re just getting better,’’ he remarked of the process.
When the Bulls come out of the All-Star Break, Rose is scheduled to play in five-on-five scrimmages for the first time, and then take it from there.
The concern, however, was even though there have been no setbacks and the rehab process moves forward, it does so with a knee that “isn’t still feeling right.’’
“It’s both still, where my leg isn’t still feeling right,’’ Rose explained, when asked if the biggest hurdles were more mental or physical. “Mentally, I think now I’m fine. Just every week trying to do something different, every day stay on my rehab, do a little bit more, lift a little bit more, squat a little bit more. Taking it very serious.’’
As far as Rose was concerned, the explosiveness has been what’s missing. When he can explode off stride, and dunk off stride, that will be a sign that it might be go-time.
“Being able to dunk,’’ he explained, when asked when he’ll know it’s time. “I can’t dunk. I know if I dunk off stride I will be out there playing. But I can’t.’’
Rose did say he was proud of the fight his teammates have shown without him, even going into the Break losing four of their last five games. But he stressed that the pressure of helping them go deep into the postseason will not factor into his decision.
“Not at all, at all,’’ Rose said of the pressure to return. “That’s the last thing I’m thinking about, about coming back too soon. I know that it’s all on me. I just got to make the decision when I’m ready.’’
And while he will listen to the advice of people like his agent B.J. Armstrong, team doctors, trainers and general manager Gar Forman, his voice is the one that matters.
“It’s really on me to make that decision on when I’m going to play again,’’ Rose added. “That’s cool that they left it up to me.’’