CHICAGO -- Bo Jackson knows what it's like to come back from a career-threatening injury, and when it comes to the Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose, the former two-sport All-Star says it's time for everybody to back off.
Jackson made an unprecedented comeback in 1993 with the White Sox after undergoing hip-replacement surgery. He was hurt while playing for the NFL's Los Angeles Raiders.
Jackson says he doesn't watch sports on television these days, but he is aware of Rose's situation from what he has caught "on the news.
He says that it's not only the physical hurdles that need to be cleared, but the mental ones as well.
"Derrick Rose or any athlete will get back on the playing field or on the court when he knows that he is ready," Jackson said Thursday. "I would say don't try to be Superman and try to please the public. Take your time, heal, come back and do what you have to because if something goes out again, guess what ..."
Anticipation remains high for Rose's return, but just 25 games remain in the regular season, counting Thursday night's game at the United Center against the Philadelphia 76ers. Before the start of play Thursday, the Bulls were sixth in the Eastern Conference and comfortably in line for the eighth and final playoff berth.
Jackson says none of that should matter.
"The public is still going to be out there wanting more and more and more," he said. "Take care of yourself first. Take care of your family and then worry about what else is out there."
Jackson was at McCormick Place on Thursday, along with First Lady Michelle Obama, to promote an initiative that encourages kids to get and stay active. Other athletes involved in the event, that included thousands of school kids from throughout Chicago, were tennis star Serena Williams, gold-medal gymnast Gabby Douglas and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, among others. Nike is contributing $50 million to the project.