Rose has been medically cleared to return, per Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com, who writes:
...team doctor, Brian Cole, said after the surgery that the final stage in the recovery process is playing in games. Rose has admitted that he is struggling with the mental aspect of the process and still isn't comfortable with different parts of his game.
Many fans have been critical of Rose's decision to continue sitting out of games, but at least one of his peers understands why he hasn't pulled the trigger on his comeback this season.
I feel like [if] I were in the situation I wouldn't really [come back this year] because you don't have enough time to get into a rhythm. Then you get to the playoffs, D-Rose wouldn't be good for that team just playing 20 minutes a game. They're already a good team and good defensively, but to be even better he would have to play more minutes.
Recovering from a knee injury isn't easy.
Rose isn't ready to play, and the Bulls must be prepared for a playoff run without him.
That isn't to say he absolutely won't play, but judging by his recent aversion to making a return to the starting lineup, it seems he's inclined to take the safe route and wait until next season.
Chicago has done well without him, earning a record of 40-33 to this point in the season. It is currently the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference and is set up for a first-round matchup with the Indiana Pacers.
The Bulls have gotten excellent production from Nate Robinson and Kirk Hinrich in Rose's absence. The two of them have combined for 19.8 points, 9.7 assists and 2.09 steals per game.
Chicago isn't likely to make a deep playoff run with or without Rose this season. The team has as good a chance as any to win the Eastern Conference title when Rose is playing at his best, but that's not going to happen this season.
Fans are clamoring for his return, but in the long run, it might be better for the Bulls and their fans for Rose to make his debut in the starting lineup when the 2013-2014 season begins.
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