Chicago Bulls fans are disappointed to learn that Derrick Rose won't be returning for the rest of the Miami Heat series, and they might be even more bummed out to learn he was once on the cusp of suiting up and taking the floor in their second-round matchup.
Rumors swirled about a potential Game 3 return, but CSN Chicago's Aggrey Sam broke down what happened behind closed doors:
Despite erroneous reports that he was set to dress for Game 3, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, the former league MVP won’t return to the court in the series, something Thibodeau is aware of.
However, at the outset of the second round, Rose did strongly consider coming back, but ultimately decided against it, another source said.
The team's official stance might not make such a definitive declaration, but it makes sense for them to hold off unless Chicago miraculously advances past LeBron and company.
If you've followed the Derrick Rose ACL return saga at all, you know it's an issue that has become increasingly controversial with each passing game.
Every time the city of Chicago got its hopes up, it encountered the sobering sight of Rose in a suit and tie on the sidelines.
First it was a potential post-All-Star return. Then it was possibly March. Then it was, "Will he return prior to the playoffs?" And for the past few weeks, the yearnings have grown louder, wondering whether a highly anticipated postseason return will ever happen.
May 12 marked the one-year anniversary of his ACL surgery, which only served to highlight the length of his absence and the longing of Bulls Nation for an appearance.
Rose and the Bulls have been extra cautious throughout this entire process, so this news about his continued absence against the Heat isn't shocking.
They wouldn't want to risk further injury or a setback in a series they're not expected to win. Throwing him at Miami in the middle of the series would be a boost for team morale, but it would be a tough adjustment for Rose and unlikely to sway the outcome of the season.
Also, if we've gathered anything from this high-profile rehab, it's that Chicago won't officially rule out his return this season. That means, if the Bulls somehow out-duel the Heat, we could see No. 1 suit up in the conference finals.
Until then, enjoy more of the Nate Robinson Show.
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