by Zack Harper (cbs sportsline.com)
Chicago Bulls PG and franchise player Derrick Rose has made it clear that he's going to make sure he's back to being himself before he completes his comeback from the ACL injury that knocked him out of the playoffs last April. Rose would probably be the first player to intentionally miss a full season because he doesn't want to come back early and not be himself in the process.
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau was on an ESPN Chicago radio show on Tuesday and said that, while it's possible Rose will miss the entire season because he doesn't feel he's ready to play, his team is prepared to move forward either way.
“I think in any situation like this you hope for the best but you plan for the worst. That's a possibility that he could miss the entire season and if that's the case then that's fine. We just want him to be healthy and ready to go. Whenever that is we will deal with that. For our team nothing is going to change.”
This is kind of the way that the Bulls had to approach this injury, right? It happened so late last season/early in the playoffs that it put a large chunk of this season in doubt for his comeback. And while Iman Shumpert has been able to return from a similar injury, their roles on their respective teams are quite different.
Shumpert can take his time because he's an ancillary part of the New York Knicks' organization and team focus. They'd love to have his on-ball defense and athleticism, but for now they have role players who can fill that role when called upon. The Bulls, on the other hand, need Rose to be the best player on the team and one of the best scorers in the league.
We knew going into the year that Derrick was going to miss a good chunk of the season, we didn't know when he would come back. We want him to concentrate on his rehab and we want that to be his focus. He's done that. I think everything that is being said, right now everyone is overreacting to everything. Really nothing has changed. He's going to continue to work and when he's comfortable and ready he will go.”
It's good to see the Bulls employing this kind of patience with the Rose rehab. Some teams would be inclined to pressure one of the best players back into the lineup because they would be missing his incredible impact on the game.
However, Thibodeau and the Bulls know for his impact to be what it was, they need him to be as healthy as he used to be. Until Rose is able to be that player, it makes sense for him to wait it out, keep working to get better and allow the team to continue to play well without the distraction of him possibly returning the next day.