It's always tempting for a franchise to rush back a star after an injury.
And Bulls fans should praise the franchise in return.
The star point guard talked late Wednesday about the Bulls giving him space to rehab after undergoing surgery on his left knee, per the Chicago Tribune.
Rose said, via the Tribune report: "It's really on me to make that decision when I'm going to play again. That's cool that they left it up to me."
Rose has been able to engage in half-court sessions with his teammates, but he also said, "My leg still isn't feeling right."
Heading into the All-Star break, the Bulls are 30-22, holding the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. But they've lost five of their last seven games.
Rose may not play this season at all and it's hard to imagine the Bulls making a serious run for the championship without him. It's actually been astonishing they've posted such a solid record without their franchise player. While All-Star center Joakim Noah stands out as the star of the team right now, Chicago has needed a collection of players to step up, including point guard Nate Robinson and the defensive-minded Kirk Hinrich.
The Bulls are a playoff team right now, but they aren't a serious title contender. That's why it's refreshing to see the franchise protect Rose, when so many teams would be breathing down his neck at this point. After all, the Bulls were considered a prime contender for the championship last season before Rose tore his ACL in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. His injury reverberated throughout the city of Chicago.
If Rose can play this season, great. But rushing him back is inviting disaster. The last thing you want to do is rush Rose back and see him re-aggravate his injury and hurt himself even more.
This is a three-time All-Star and NBA MVP we're talking about. Players like this don't come around very often. Rose averaged 21.8 points and 7.9 assists last season while registering a PER of 23.10.
Chicago is making the right move being cautious with Rose. Bulls fans will thank the franchise later.
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