Even with the NBA All-Star Weekend rapidly approaching, fans of the Chicago Bulls aren’t able to sit back and relax.
Derrick Rose, the club’s superstar, is still sidelined as he recovers from a torn ACL suffered in last season’s playoffs. Until he is back on the floor and contributing, there is going to be constant concern and worry about the 24-year-old PG.
This past Sunday, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau spoke to the media and, unfortunately, said little to relieve the doubts and frustrations of concerned fans.
According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, the coach was somewhat vague when talking about his superstar’s return timetable, saying, “Yeah, he’s on his schedule for his rehab. When I feel like he’s [ready to go], when our organization feels like he’s ready to go, when he feels like he’s ready to go, he’ll go.”
The reporter noted that Rose is taking full-contact in practices, but is not yet participating in five-on-five scrimmages—one of the final steps in this arduous recovery process.
Thibs made sure to stress that it does not matter how much Rose practices, as it’s impossible to simulate the speed and intensity of an actual game, telling the gathered media (via Cowley):
I like to think that we’re a good practice team, but I also have the understanding that no matter what we’re doing in practice, it’s never going to be the same as a game. He’s right on schedule. This is what we’ve had planned all along, so just want to be smart.’
It’s been over 40 weeks since the young stud went down with a torn ACL. The injury occurred at the tail end of the Bulls' first game of a first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers, and fans have been waiting with bated breath for his return ever since.
However, the organization is wise to take numerous precautions and give Rose as much time as he needs to get back on the floor in 2013. The team is sitting at 30-20 and likely going to nab a top seed in the East—with or without their youthful leader.
Rose’s presence will push Chicago from a token playoff team to a serious contender that could compete with the Miami Heat for the conference championship. It’s just a matter of time and practice repetitions before he returns, so supporters must remain patient.