Rose originally injured his knee in Game 1 of last season's playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers. It was later found out that he had torn his ACL and would miss the remainder of the playoffs.
Since then, it's been a long road of recovery for the Bulls' prized point guard. Most recently Rose has been able to return to what Coach Thibodeau referred to as "predictable contact."
While the return of Rose would be a great thing for the Bulls, they can still stand to take their time.
Chicago is currently second in the Central Division standings, just half a game behind Philadelphia. The team is riding a three-game winning streak, which includes a 96-89 victory over the Heat.
While Rose's absence has been felt in the scoring department—the Bulls' 93.3 points per game ranks 12th in the East—they continue to win with solid defense.
Chicago ranks second in the NBA, allowing 91.5 points per game.
And the scoring gap is being covered. Luol Deng has taken over points as the team's lead scorer, with Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah providing plenty of support in the front court.
There's still a void left at point guard, but Kirk Hinrich (5.5 assists per game) and Nate Robinson (11 points per game) have been a solid duo.
The bottom line is that Chicago is holding the ship together.
Right now, there's a very slim chance the Bulls will miss the playoffs. They have a firm handle in the standings, and enough talent to prevent any monumental slips.
The only effect bringing Rose back would have is on seeding. And seeing that the Bulls have been great on the road (9-5), even that isn't a huge worry.
The worst thing Chicago could do right now is push Rose back and have him re-injure himself. Chicago can get to the playoffs without their franchise player, but getting through them is a completely different beast.
So if the Bulls are smart, they'll take their time and let D-Rose come back in his own time. As long as they do that, Chicago will be a force to be reckoned with.
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