Fear not, Bulls fans: Derrick Rose has been medically cleared to resume full game action.
The bad news, of course, is that he’s still not going to be playing until he feels he’s completely ready, which is only bad news in the sense that he’ll be out longer. Ultimately, being as cautious as possible is probably the right decision. But more on that in a minute.
From the report:
Rose, who had surgery to repair a tear to the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on May 12, has been videotaped dunking off each foot, but more casually than he would during a game. A source said that although he has been practicing and scrimmaging hard, he told the Bulls that until he feels “in his mind” he can confidently dunk off his left foot in a game situation, he is not 100 percent mentally ready to return to competition.
The team is not pressuring Rose, the source said, but the Bulls are confident he will return this season and are still hoping for a mid-March return, which would mark 10 months after his surgery. The Bulls play at Golden State on March 15.
The source said the team has been assured by Rose’s doctor that there is no more chance of the former MVP getting injured upon his return than anyone else and that the doctor told the Bulls that physically “he can play now.” Rose is now dealing with the psychological side of trusting his body.
There are a number of moving pieces in play, here. Both the Bulls organization and Adidas have direct, monetary reasons for wanting Rose back as soon as possible. Rose himself has every interest in making sure he is as close to perfect as he can possibly be before returning — both from the standpoint of prolonging his career and from wanting to be “DERRICK ROSE” again when he returns. Bulls fans, obviously, would like to see Rose play again.
There are concerns the Bulls organization leaked this info in an effort to put pressure on Rose to end what they presumably see as excessive rehab. I would think that’s probably not the case, but I lost any read I might have had on this organization a long time ago. If that was the intent, they’re a bunch of dicks and that’s that. It shouldn’t have any real impact on Rose himself.
Here’s what this comes down to: Only Derrick can make the decision to return to game action. If he’s ready, he’ll play. If he’s not, he won’t. Either way, the media, or the front office or the fans don’t have any say in the matter. It’s his knee, it’s his decision. I, personally, would like to see him back on the floor before the end of the season — both because I think real game action will help with his rehab and because I selfishly want to see him play again. But if he doesn’t return until next season because he’s just not ready, that’s his prerogative and we should support him.
I think Yahoo!’s Kelly Dwyer put it best:
Derrick Rose does not want to come back and float around to hit some nice jumpers and make a deft pass or 12. He wants to come back as DERRICK ROSE. This is the guy agreeing to dramatic shoe company advertisements hyping a triumphant return. A “12 points and five assists in a nice first game back from Rose …” does not a triumphant return make. He wants to cut. He wants to stuff. He wants to plant and pivot and have confidence and run the show again, as opposed to being part of it.
He wants to return at 110 percent. And if Derrick Rose believes he can hit that impossible number, then we should get behind that. That’s not fear. That’s ambition.
Derrick Rose has given us quite a lot, and now it’s our turn to give him some time.
So that’s that. Let’s continue to hope for a speedy recovery while supporting Rose as he does what he feels he needs to to make his return.
He’ll be back before we know it.