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King: Rose 'explosive,' return seems near

3/18/2013
AP Photo/Eric Gay

Chicago Bulls television analyst Stacey King gets to look behind a curtain during practices the media can't lift, and from what King has seen, Derrick Rose's return is imminent.

"He's coming back. I don't know when. He's coming back," King said on "The Carmen & Jurko Show" on ESPN 1000 on Thursday. "He's coming back for this season.

"I wouldn't be surprised, me personally, this is just my hunch -- I'm not a doctor and I didn't sleep at Holiday Inn either -- but I think it's going to be very quickly. I think it's going to be in the next week to 10 days."

As ESPNChicago.com reported last week, Rose has been cleared by his doctor to play, according to a team source. Rose told reporters on Tuesday he's doing everything on the court but he still needed to regain the confidence he had before tearing his left ACL on April 28 and having surgery on May 12.

That confidence, as far driving off the left leg, appears to have returned.

"I saw him work out (Wednesday) in Sacramento," King said. "It was probably the most explosive I've seen him since he's been back. He looked really, really good. He was jumping off the (left) leg. He was working with coach Ron Adams. And he looked very, very explosive."

Coach Tom Thibodeau said Thursday that Rose is "unlikely" to play Friday against the Golden State Warriors, but even that cracked the door open every so slightly to the possibility Rose will play tonight.

Thibodeau put the Bulls through a hard practice Thursday after getting blown out by the Kings on Wednesday. Thibodeau said he wanted to see how Rose would respond this morning, so today's shootaround could provide some clarity.

Either way, the thoughts that Rose could miss the entire season appear to be dissipating.