During his recovery from ACL surgery, Chicago Bulls star point guard Derrick Rose told ESPNChicago.com that he would not come back until he was "ready to play," even if that wasn't until next season. In his absence, the Bulls have gone 2-1 thus far and still look like a championship caliber team. With his knee rehab progressing week after week, it's only going to get harder for the 2011 MVP to resist returning in 2012-13.
Given how the Bulls basically crumbled in the playoffs last season after Rose injured his knee in Game 1 of the team's first-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers, there was every indication that this season would be a lost one. GM Gar Forman brought back Kirk Hinrich to run the point and the electrifying Nate Robinson to come off the bench, but neither man has the same impact Rose does on the Bulls' lineup.
However, the Bulls have looked anything but lost in Rose's absence this year. They are 2-1 and the rest of the team has really picked up the slack, filling the void as their fearless leader continues to recover from his injury.
Thus, given how well the Bulls have played without him, would it really make that much of a difference if he came back at, say, 85 percent? If Chicago keeps up the good play, he'd only be cheating himself by sitting on the sidelines and not helping his teammates finally get over the hump into the world of champions. As of now, his teammates are giving him plenty of reasons to consider coming back at some point this year.