Apparently it seems that Rose hasn’t ruled out the possibility of playing this season. According to Nick Friedell of ESPN.com, Rose is still open to playing this season. He still made no commitment as to when exactly he would return, however, saying:
"I'm not trying to think about that right now," Rose said. "I'm just trying to get better. I'm just trying to help my teammates, give them confidence to go out there and play hard, and just be a great teammate.
"I'll play whenever I'm ready to play. Who knows when I'm ready to? Right now, all I can do is just cheer on my teammates."
It’s now been almost an entire year since Rose tore his ACL in the first game of the NBA playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers. It’s also been a month since Rose was medically cleared to play. Even though he’s been cleared, Rose is apparently waiting until he can confidently dunk off of his left leg. His recovery seems to be going well, as he has been seen dunking before games.
At this point in the year, it would make sense for Rose just to hold off and wait until the playoffs to come back and play. With a 42-33 record, the Bulls have clinched a playoff spot with seven games remaining.
Even if Rose did come back right now, it would do little to change their seeding. The team currently holds the No. 5 seed in the Eastern conference, with 1.5 games between both the No. 4 and No. 6 seeds.
When should Derrick Rose return?
It’s unrealistic to expect Rose to come right back and instantly start. There is going to be some rust after not playing in an NBA game in almost a year. If he did come back right now, it would be off of the bench with limited minutes. That wouldn’t do much to help improve the Bulls’ playoff seeding, especially in only seven games.
It will be hard for Rose to make much of an impact even in the first round of the playoffs at this point. Assuming that he does come back for the postseason, he will need to get back into the groove of an actual game. Letting him get some minutes during the first playoff series would help him regain some confidence, and then he could progressively make a bigger impact as the team’s playoff run continued.
At the end of the day, Rose said that it’s his decision as to when he comes back. If he doesn’t feel 100 percent confident in his knee, he very well may just sit out and wait to come back in the 2013-2014 season. If he does come back this year, then he should hold off until the playoffs start. Not only would it be the safest option, it would also be the smartest one.