According to USA Today’s Sam Amick, Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau recently stated there is no set date for Rose’s comeback, meaning there is a chance the superstar could make his debut in the postseason:
There's no timetable. Whenever he's ready, he's ready and he comes back. We've made that clear from the beginning. We're pleased with the progress that he's making and we want him to be comfortable when he's out there, whenever he's ready.
Whether that is during the tail end of the regular season or in the middle of a playoff series apparently makes no difference to the organization. Unfortunately, the latter option would mean it would be nearly or over a year since the 2011 MVP has seen the court.
Rose was infamously injured on April 28 of last year in the Bulls' first-round series against the Philadelphia 76ers. The 2013 playoffs are scheduled to begin on April 20.
With Chicago likely in contention to nab anywhere from the No. 3 to No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, the franchise would optimally like to have its point guard back in the lineup as soon as possible.
However, any appearance at all would bring a huge morale boost and instantaneously transform the Bulls from a token postseason squad to a legitimate title contender.
Because Rose is taking so much precaution and mentally preparing himself as much as he is physically, there’s no reason to believe he’s going to have much rust to shake off when he’s back in uniform.
When will Rose return?
Remember, the star said he’s waiting until he’s “110 percent” healthy and ready prior to suiting up, a promise he’s definitely keeping. Rose was medically cleared by doctors earlier in the week, but is willing to delay his return until he’s fully comfortable with his game.
If it takes him another month or two to finally reach that point, so be it. Should Chicago be in the midst of a tightly contested seven-game series, his return could inspire a highly emotional momentum shift for the team.
Coach Thibs and the Bulls front office are making the right call by allowing Rose the freedom and time necessary to prepare, and it could pay off in a big way if he returns for the playoffs.