"I expect him to come back and fully recover and be better than ever." -- Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau
We all do. But at the same time, when we get down to what's really in the back of our minds, we know that thinking is extremely wishful. Hopeful. OK, I'll be the one to say it: Doubtful.
Not that we doubt Derrick Rose's ability to come back 100 percent from the ACL tear that ripped out Chicago's heart in a way not felt since Gale Sayers went down, but a simple flashback of his season this season leaves us vulnerable to levels of pessimism that usually aren't in the DNA of most Chicagoans.
In his first three NBA seasons, Rose missed five games. This year: 27 games in four months. His body breaking down in front of us. And then ... this. An athlete's worst nightmare not requiring microfracture surgery.
Can he come back? Will he come back? When will he come back? All of those questions floating around in our heads, coming out of our mouths. But stuck in our hearts, the one question that instills the most angst, anxiety and fear: Will we ever see that 2010-11, pre-lockout, pre-new contract, pre-new adidas deal, best point guard in the game, MVP Derrick Rose again?