Derrick Rose Must Return to Bulls in Playoffs if Healthy

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IMarch 24, 2013

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 05: (L-R) Joakim Noah #13, Derrick Rose #1 and Loul Deng #9 of the Chicago Bulls enjoy the final minutes of a game against the Indiana Pacers at the United Center on March 5, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Pacers 92-72. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The notion that Derrick Rose should give up on any attempt to play for the Chicago Bulls in 2013 is absurd. 

If he's healthy enough to play at the end of the season and into the playoffs, he should. 

That's not what NBA.com's Steve Aschburner thinks, though. In his latest column, Aschburner writes:

Shut him down. The Bulls have only 14 games left on their regular-season schedule...The Bulls look like a one-and-done team without Rose; with him, still rusty and maybe on a slightly longer minutes leash, they could push it to the second round. That is not worth it.

That's far too pessimistic an approach. 

Rose and the Bulls have been incredibly conservative and patient in their approach to his ACL injury, which is certainly laudable. In this day and age when athletes like Adrian Peterson are recovering from similar injuries in record time with fantastic results, it would be easy to press the issue. 

Rose hasn't pressed, and the Bulls have been supportive of his decision. Both parties have shown wisdom in this process, but if he's ready to play, there's no reason to hold him back.

Rose recently told ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell, "Nobody knows but God," regarding when he'll return to action. 

According to Friedell's report, Rose is battling through some general soreness, and he hasn't experienced any setbacks related to his knee injury from last year. 

Neither Rose nor the Bulls has offered any timetable for his return, and in the end, he may not play at all the rest of the season or in the playoffs. That said, it would be illogical for the team to shut him down if he is healthy enough to return. 

Even if Rose is rusty—even if he takes a handful of games to work out the kinks—the Bulls are a better team with him than without him.

Aschburner doesn't seem to think the Bulls have any chance to make a deep run in the playoffs no matter if he plays or not, but that by no means precludes the team from proving him wrong. 

If Rose, his doctors and the team deem him ready to play, he needs to play. 

Period. 

Any other course of action would be unacceptable. 

 

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