After being cleared by doctors to play following a torn ACL last season, Derrick Rose is under a lot of pressure to return for the Chicago Bulls, but is still unsure of whether or not he's physically ready to take the court.
The star point guard talked extensively to the media on Tuesday about his rehab, making it known that he is not at the stage where he can provide a timetable on his eventual comeback (via K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune):
Last DRose for now: "I’m just coming back when I feel normal. If that’s in a couple days, that’s great. If it’s not, I’m fine."— K.C Johnson (@KCJHoop) March 12, 2013
Rose also pointed out that returning prematurely is not the answer (also via Johnson):
DRose: "If I rush back and something was to happen, everybody would say why did you rush back?" #Bulls— K.C Johnson (@KCJHoop) March 12, 2013
Finally, the former league MVP noted that he knew he would be ready when he's "out there thinking and not just reacting," (also via Johnson).
A lot of drama has surrounded Rose's potential return to the floor. His own brother, Reggie, told ESPNChicago.com in February that the Bulls' decision not to make a lot of moves at the trade deadline affected Rose's motivation to get back on the hardwood.
Rose later released a statement claiming that he didn't share his brother's sentiments, but the damage was done.
The Bulls are currently 35-28 and have slipped to No. 5 in the Eastern Conference after a rough stretch that saw them lose 11 of their past 18 games, including a 90-81 defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.
Should Derrick Rose return now?
Chicago boasts the third-best defense in the league, allowing just 91.3 points per game. However, the team only manages to score 92.3 points per game, which is the second-worst mark in the NBA.
There's no question that Rose's return would propel the Bulls into title contention, but only if he's healthy. If the three-time All-Star is rushed back, there is a chance he could re-aggravate the surgically repaired ligament, or worse.
It's hard to pick sides in this ongoing saga, but at least fans now have a better of where Rose stands.