Chicago Bulls: return

Funk has hunch Rose back this season

March, 6, 2014
Mar 6
12:10
PM CT
By ESPNChicago.com
ESPNChicago.com
The Chicago Bulls have said all along that Derrick Rose will miss the season after the star guard injured his knee in November.

[+] EnlargeRose
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesDerrick Rose is running on his own but still is not practicing with the Bulls.
But Bulls television play-by-play man Neil Funk has a feeling Rose will be back on the court before the end of the season.

"My belief is he's going to play before this season is over," Funk said Wednesday on the "Carmen & Jurko" show on ESPN Chicago 1000. "No one in the Bulls organization ... they have stuck to their guns that he is out for the season. But I just have this feeling, I don't know why, and this isn't the first time that I've said it, but I really think he's going to play before the season is over.

"At what point [is unclear] and obviously they are going to monitor his minutes very closely if he were to come back. All of those things are going to happen. How much of a factor, whether it's at the end of the regular season or into the playoffs, that remains to be seen. Obviously, there is a likelihood or strong likelihood that maybe he won't play during the regular season. I think he wants to be sure that he's 100 percent, which he thought he was when he came back off that other knee injury, and it looked like he was just starting to round into shape when he hurt that other one."

Rose missed the 2012-13 season after suffering a torn ACL in his left knee April 2012; he played 10 games this season before tearing the medial meniscus in his right knee in Portland on Nov. 22. After having surgery days later, Rose was ruled out for the season by the Bulls. In his first news conference after the injury in November, Rose said he wouldn't rule out a possible return for the playoffs, but he seemed to back off those comments in February.

"I haven't even had a chance to think about [a return this season], to tell you the truth," Rose said on Feb. 12, his most recent public comments about his rehab. "I'm just worrying about my next stage in this process, and that's running right now. I'm on the [anti-gravity treadmill] right now, running on that and hopefully be running without it pretty soon."

Rose has since started running on his own but still has not practiced with the team.

Asked why the Bulls wouldn't rule Rose out of practices for the rest of the season, coach Tom Thibodeau said on Feb. 26: "He's out for the season. I don't know what else you guys want. Again, I think that's a step-by-step thing. He's doing great. He's out for the season. Nothing's changed there. In the end, if he's where it makes sense for him to practice, then that's what he'll do. But he's doing great."

Rose candid about need to be 'selfish'

July, 3, 2013
7/03/13
4:33
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Derrick RoseIssac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty ImagesDerrick Rose took the right approach when he said his next message to fans would be on the court.
CHICAGO -- Derrick Rose's comments to Bulls TV shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who has followed his rehab from ACL surgery and ongoing saga to return to the floor.

Rose, at various points throughout last season, essentially said the same thing -- that he wasn't going to return to the floor unless he felt he was completely ready to do so. The difference this time is that Rose was a little more forthright about his mindset than usual.

(Read full post)

Would he have changed outcome?

May, 16, 2013
5/16/13
10:27
AM CT
By Staff
ESPNChicago.com
RoseIssac Baldizon/NBAE/Getty ImagesIt seems obvious Derrick Rose would have made a difference against Miami, but how much?
One of the arguments against Derrick Rose returning this season was that even with Rose healthy and playing, the Chicago Bulls didn't have enough firepower to get past the Miami Heat.

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How much of a difference would Derrrick Rose make?

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Did the Heat winning the Eastern Conference semifinals 4-1 support that argument?

Rose is a former MVP who contributes more than scoring and assists, although added scoring alone would have made a difference. But he also creates better spacing for his teammates, drawing in defenders with penetration and freeing up shooters. He's a better on-ball defender than Nate Robinson. He's also an inspirational leader, and while motivation or inspiration wasn't a problem for the Bulls, the presence of Rose would have added another element.

Tom Thibodeau knew this, which is why he consistently maintained it wouldn't have been be a problem integrating Rose into the lineup after such a long absence.

Can anyone argue Rose wouldn't have been an upgrade over 20-year-old rookie Marquis Teague, who gained valuable experience this postseason and has flashed moments of potential after sitting out most of the regular season?

Rose would not have been just another warm body while Kirk Hinrich was out with a calf injury, Luol Deng recovered from an illness and complications from a spinal tap and Rip Hamilton was glued to the bench.

(Read full post)

5-On-5: The Derrick Rose conundrum

May, 10, 2013
5/10/13
10:28
AM CT
By ESPN.com
ESPNChicago.com
The pressure on Derrick Rose to return to the Chicago Bulls' lineup seems to grow with every playoff game. Has D-Rose handled the situation the right way? What about the Bulls? We weigh in ahead of a big Game 3 in Chicago.

Read the entire article.

Podcast: Kerr: If healthy, Rose should play

April, 30, 2013
4/30/13
10:25
AM CT
By Staff
ESPNChicago.com
Derrick Rose AP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastSteve Kerr has changed his mind about Derrick Rose not playing until he's confident.
Steve Kerr said Monday he thinks Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose "owes it to his teammates" to play if the only obstacle is confidence as the banged-up Bulls take on the Brooklyn Nets in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

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Does Rose owe it to Bulls to play if healthy?

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The one-year anniversary of Rose tearing his left ACL passed Sunday. He underwent surgery on May 12 and the prognosis for recovery was 8-12 months. ESPN Chicago reported on March 9 that Rose had been medically cleared to play and he has been scrimmaging five-on-five since Feb. 19. Indications are Rose has regained his explosiveness and has looked dominant in practice, but he still hasn't played this season and has said it's a matter of regaining his confidence. He said he's not certain when he'll return.

"I think the Bulls have handled it the right way," Kerr said on "The Carmen & Jurko Show" on ESPN 1000. "Err on the side of caution, tell him, 'Hey look, when you're ready, you come back.'

"But I wouldn't hesitate to go to him today and say, 'Here's the deal. We're not going to say anything publicly. But we need you. Kirk (Hinrich) is out. We need 25 minutes. We've seen you. We've cleared you two months ago. If you're not comfortable, then that's fine, and we won't mention one word. We'll continue to go the path we've gone. But we need you.'"

The criticism of Rose has escalated as he's watched Hinrich (calf) and Joakim Noah (plantar fasciitis) fight through injuries to put the Bulls up 3-1. Hinrich has been ruled out for Game 5 on Monday in Brooklyn. Kerr, who won three of his four titles with the Bulls and is a former Phoenix Suns general manager, will work Game 5 as a TNT analyst.

"And to me, I think Derrick owes it to his teammates at this stage," Kerr said. "And again, I've been Derrick's biggest supporter on this. I've been saying all along, up until two days ago, I've been saying, 'He should not play if he's not comfortable.'

"But if this is just about not being fully confident, you've got to go out there. If this is about, 'Hey, it doesn't feel right and I'm worried I can hurt it,' then no way should he play. But if this is just about, 'You know gosh, I'm just not quite confident yet.' I would appeal to him and say, 'Can you give us 20 minutes.' And if you're Derrick, you've been watching Noah and Hinrich play on one leg this whole series, at what point do you start to feel sort of self-conscious and guilty about what's unfolding?"

Rose has said he feels no pressure to return. He also said he would return during the playoffs if he felt ready, and coach Tom Thibodeau has not shut the door on that possibility.

"It could be tomorrow and I feel like I could play the next game," Rose said on March 21. "Nobody knows but God."

Up until Saturday, when Hinrich and Noah played through their injuries to help the Bulls win in triple-overtime, Kerr had been steadfast that Rose should come back only when he's comfortable.

"It's a really tricky situation," Kerr said. "I realize the whole world's eyes are on Derrick, the basketball world's eyes are on him. And he lives in a different realm than the rest of us, so there's a ton more pressure. But if this is just about the team, then I think he kind of owes it to these guys to get out there."

Kerr was asked whether he thinks the Bulls are asking themselves privately why Rose hasn't returned. The Bulls' front office has said it wants Rose to take as much time as he needs and Rose's teammates have been emphatic in defending him.

"I think there's so much respect for Derrick because of the type of character he has and the type of person he is, what he's meant to that franchise, and the Bulls players -- the Bulls have done such a great job of putting together a group of guys who really care and are committed to the team -- so they're not going to say anything," Kerr said. "But probably privately at some point, they're going to be like, 'Hey, you know, what's the deal? Let's go, we're trying to win here.'

"But again, let me reiterate, if there's any question in his own mind about being injured, then he should not go out there. But if it's just about, 'I'm not quite confident enough,' you know what, I'm sure Joakim's not confident in his foot and Kirk's not confident in his calf. And if that's all this is about, then it's time to get out there."

One year later, Rose injury still fresh

April, 28, 2013
4/28/13
7:00
AM CT
By Staff
ESPNChicago.com
Derrick RoseJonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesIt's been one year since Derrick Rose tore his ACL, and for some it feels like it was yesterday.
It was a year ago, on April 28, 2012, when Derrick Rose suffered a knee injury that is still being felt by the organization, its fan base and the entire NBA.

There was 1:19 remaining in the fourth quarter of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals when Rose drove into the lane and jump-stopped. The grimace on his face was immediate as he tried to jump for a shot before crashing to the court holding his left knee.

The United Center fell silent as the worse was expected and later verified. Rose tore his ACL and would undergo surgery on May 12. The Bulls won Game 1 but would go on to lose to the eighth-seeded Philadelphia 76ers in six games.

The prognosis was for Rose to take 8-12 months to rehabilitate and the process seemed to be going according to plan as periodic reports reflected steady progress. From doing basketball drills to practicing to taking full contact to scrimmaging five-on-five starting on Feb.18, Rose appeared poised to return after the All-Star break.

But suddenly the possibility that he wouldn't return this season started to surface in stories and interviews, and now it appears almost certain he won't be back at all this season.

ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell talked to many of those who were present at the time of the injury, and here are their stories:

Joakim Noah

"I just remember being up like 20 points and thinking we were going to win the championship. Even when he went down, it was weird but in my mind I was like, 'He could be out for a couple weeks and we'll be alright. We'll be ready for him to come back.'

"I even remember after the game I went to the Berto Center to go get some ice and get some treatment, I never do that, I was just so into it and then when I heard the news ... it was just hard. You know how hard we work every day, so to see him go down like that was tough. Not just for us as players but for the whole city."

Noah It was a dark day. It was a dark day for us. We won that playoff game but Derrick getting hurt -- I'll probably remember that day for the rest of my life.

-- Joakim Noah
When you first saw him on the ground what were you thinking?

"I just wanted to be there. Any time one of my teammates goes down I just try to be there for them. I didn't know how bad it was going to be. My mindset was more on just finishing the game and seeing him after."

How did you find out?

"My uncle called me. I can't believe I remember all this."

What was it like when you saw him the next day?

"It was hard, man. It was hard. I don't even like talking about it to be honest with you.

"It was a dark day. It was a dark day for us. We won that playoff game but Derrick getting hurt -- I'll probably remember that day for the rest of my life."

Carlos Boozer

(Long pause) "Truthfully, it was just sad, man. I couldn't really believe it. I was hoping it wasn't that serious but it was. Seeing him cry in the locker room, that was tough because he knew what happened already. It was tough, man. It's tough to talk about."

Did you know when he went down?

"No, I didn't know. I was just hoping it wasn't that bad. Honestly, I thought it was his ankle or something and then I realized he said it was his knee, so I was just hoping it wasn't that bad to be honest."

What was that locker room like?

"It was depressing, man. It was one of the saddest locker rooms -- we just won the game -- and it was one of the saddest locker rooms I might have ever been in."

What was the next day like for you?

"Tough, man. We really just met for a couple minutes, walked through a couple things and got out of there because everybody was down still. It was kind of like a ... it was just depressing, man."

Doug Collins:

"I was right in front of our bench and I saw him come down awkwardly and I just knew what he did -- I saw the way his leg buckled -- because I had that injury. And so I knew immediately.

"... I knew he hurt his knee and I was very sad. Obviously, it changed the playoff picture in our favor. They also lost Noah in Game 3, but Derrick Rose is a shining star and a bright light in the NBA and we miss him. He plays the game the way you're supposed to play it every night. He plays to win. He's a hometown kid who loves being in Chicago and representing his city. He's got a great family. And I'm one of these guys, I want to see the best players on the floor and so I hope he's going to be healthy soon and get back out there. Will that affect us? Yeah. But that kid needs to be out there playing basketball. He's special."

Taj Gibson:

"I remember it like it was yesterday. He was in the game, we talked about the game scheme, drew up a play for him to break down the defense and probably get a running hook, running floater -- he went down the lane, got a running floater, and just came down wrong. I was hoping it wasn't even his knee. I thought it was his ankle. He always had bad ankle problems, but he hurt his knee. We got a great win but the look on everybody's face wasn't even happy about the win. We were more like hoping that he's OK. You never want to see a teammate go out like that. But just the reaction when we got the news ... most of the guys just ran in the training room and we went into the training room and you didn't see him but we saw him come out with that disappointment look on his face it was surreal and we knew that it was something serious. That's what I remember the most."

[+] EnlargeDerrick Rose
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesWhen Gar Forman saw Derrick Rose didn't collide with anyone before hitting the court, he knew it was bad.
"I just remember his face when he came out of the X-ray room and everybody was just shaking their head. It was like one of those scenes -- you're there but you don't know what's going on, but you know something was bad happening. It was one of those reactions, the whole locker room was just quiet, we heard people moving around but you hardly heard people say anything. That was crazy."

What was it like the next day?

"The next day was mellow. It was like you come in, it was quiet, real mellow and quiet. The only thing you mostly heard was the basketball. Guys just came in there and we got the news about how he was and it was cool because guys understood what they had to do but at the same time we really didn't understand like, 'What's the gameplan now?' How we got to adjust, we got to draw up different plays, we got to do different things like that. But guys were still like, 'Damn.' At the same time they were like, 'What could we have done differently? Maybe the second unit could have played a little harder, we wouldn't have had to worry about putting him back in the game.'"

"It was just a lot of stuff going on but then he was like, 'You got to man up. You got to get ready for the next game.' Things like this happen every day. But it was just tough because you go through a whole year of ups and downs, ups and downs, ups and downs, and get another blow like that to your teammate, you're like, 'Wow,' that was crazy. "


Sixers guard -- and Chicago native -- Evan Turner

"I think as big an icon as D-Rose has been to basketball and in the NBA and in Chicago, you're talking about a kid that's always been admired ... I root for every Chicago kid because you're putting on for the city and you inspire the younger kids coming up, (the injury) is traumatizing to a community. Chicago is on his back so you see him go down definitely is horrible because he's a pro's pro. You like watching him, you like seeing what he does, performing, so that was hard to watch, too."

What do you remember from that moment?

"I just thought he pulled a muscle because he didn't really react. I hear when people tear an ACL they start screaming and stuff. He didn't react or anything so I said he probably just caught a cramp because he's been playing off and on and that was it. I just figured nothing bad had happened, he never really got hurt before and then when it came out he tore his ACL, I was shocked because he didn't have any reaction."

John Paxson

"What I remember was there was excitement about the playoffs starting and us feeling that we had put ourselves in a position to make a run. And then we're sitting there just a short time away from winning Game 1 and knowing that every playoff game, that's the most important game you play, so we were going to have a 1-0 advantage.

"And then watching Derrick go down -- from that moment on I was just kind of numb -- because you knew it was bad when you saw him on the floor. And then the rest of the day was going to the hospital, staying with him and around him, and understanding that it was bad. And it was hard not to think about what that meant for our basketball team, but numb's the word to describe how I felt that day."

Gar Forman

"I remember when he first went down, because he had had several injuries during the year I thought ... I didn't have a good angle so I initially thought he had landed on someone's foot or sprained an ankle, I couldn't see that there was no one around. But then when I saw it on the TV, because we have a TV where we sit, then it was scary seeing him go down with nobody around. And then I just remember leaving the hospital and driving home and it just felt numb. That was about it."

Friedell: Learn from Taj, shut down Rose

April, 3, 2013
4/03/13
3:31
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Taj GibsonChris Sweda/Chicago Tribune/Getty ImagesTaj Gibson's injury could serve as a warning to those wanting Derrick Rose to return this season.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As Taj Gibson hobbled back towards the Chicago Bulls locker room midway through the second quarter Tuesday night, there's a very good chance he bumped into a man who was reminded yet again how dangerous the rehab from a knee injury can be.

Derrick Rose's decision not to return yet from May 12 ACL surgery has been well documented. Some fans are growing increasingly frustrated that after nearly 11 months of rehab Rose still hasn't returned to the floor. Especially since he has been medically cleared to do so and his team doctor, Brian Cole, said after the surgery that the final stage in the recovery process is playing in games.

Rose has admitted that he is struggling with the mental aspect of the process and still isn't comfortable with different parts of his game. Seeing Gibson, his good friend, hobble around on the same knee he's already injured once this year isn't going to help that process. But it's what Gibson said afterward that could give Rose pause.

"That's what happens when you rush back and try to help your team win," Gibson said after the Bulls' loss to the Wizards.

Ever since Rose said in February that he 'wouldn't mind' sitting out the whole season if his leg were still hurting, I got the sense that he wouldn't return this season. Seeing Gibson go down the way he did Tuesday night and hearing what he said after the game only reinforced that feeling for me.

Rose told ESPN's Chris Broussard recently that he would be open to returning to action during the playoffs, a feeling shared by Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau. While the idea is nice and people within the organization continue to hold out hope that Rose wakes up one day and says he is ready to play -- the reality is that Gibson's injury should only accelerate the process of shutting down Rose for the season.

What are the Bulls waiting for?

Obviously, Gibson's injury isn't the same as Rose's, but there are parallels. Can you imagine the wrath the organization would feel if they allowed Rose to come back with just nine regular-season games left and he were to re-injure himself? Gibson's injury should serve a reality check for the Bulls' front office. No matter how much they may like to see Rose back on the floor, and no matter how many times they say it would be good for him to get some game action under his belt, why are they even keeping open the possibility at this point?

If Rose doesn't feel like he's mentally or physically ready to play, then that should be the end of it. The constant distraction regarding Rose's status is just unnecessary at this point. The idea of Rose coming back and playing during a lost season in which the Bulls have already suffered a slew of different injuries to key players doesn't make much sense for all involved.

The argument that Rose should be treated the same way as any other player is laughable. Of course Rose is going to be treated differently. He is the future of the franchise. He's a commodity that companies such as the Bulls and adidas have hundreds of millions of dollars tied up in. Is the risk of having him play this season really worth allowing him to go back on the floor when there's pretty much no chance he will be able to get into any kind of rhythm with his teammates?

One of the other popular arguments is -- Why should Rose come back next year given that the Bulls roster figures to look very much the same and they still likely won't be able to beat the Heat? The difference there is that Rose will have six more months of rehab to get his body and his mind back on the same page. All of his teammates will be on the same page in training camp, and there's a much better chance that all of them will be healthy. Will they be able to beat the Heat in a seven game series? It's still not likely -- but the odds are much higher given that the team would have a full compliment of healthy players and a reinvigorated Rose running the ship.

What about Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and Gibson -- the guys who have played through injury all season as Rose continues his rehab?

The answer there is simple as well. If Noah, Deng and Gibson don't feel like they are healthy enough to play -- they shouldn't play. This is actually a point that Thibodeau fundamentally agrees with. He talked about this during a pregame conversation with the media regarding his stance on resting guys in advance of the playoffs

"Respecting the game is very, very important," he said. "But I also think you have the obligation if a guy is hurt or hurting and it's best to give him the rest, then you do that. In my eyes you do what's right. You do what's right for the game."

Rose, Noah, Deng and Gibson are the future of the organization. The last thing the Bulls need is to rush one of them back when they don't feel as if they're ready in a season that in which the writing has been on the wall since last summer that this team wasn't built to win a title this season.

The Bulls learned a lesson with Gibson's injury Tuesday night -- they don't need to make the same mistake twice with Rose. If he says he's not ready to play then end the drama and speculation right now and say that he's out for the season. The risk of putting him back out on the floor when he doesn't feel like himself isn't worth any potential reward this team could garner over the next month or two with an already depleted roster.

Podcast: Broussard's gut feeling on Derrick

March, 28, 2013
3/28/13
12:11
PM CT
By Staff
ESPNChicago.com
ESPN's Chris Broussard had a chance to talk with Derrick Rose before Wednesday's game, and Broussard tells Colin Cowherd what his gut feeling is about Rose possibly returning this season.

"I talked to him last night before the game. He said he feels great. He said he feels great. He said he's incredibly confident. He sounded like he was ready.

(Read full post)

LeBron: Decision to return all up to D-Rose

March, 27, 2013
3/27/13
2:04
PM CT
Powers By Scott Powers
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
LeBron James, Derrick RoseGetty ImagesLeBron James misses Derrick Rose, but he understands being patient with his injury.
CHICAGO -- Miami Heat forward LeBron James said Wednesday that Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose should be the only person who decides when he's ready to play in his first game following his ACL injury.

(Read full post)

Rose out vs. Heat, health status unchanged

March, 27, 2013
3/27/13
1:16
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose said after the morning shootaround that he will not make his season debut against the Miami Heat on Wednesday night, and with just 12 games left before the playoffs, Rose still doesn't know if he'll return this season from May 12 ACL surgery.

Read the entire story.

Rose on return: Nobody knows but God

March, 21, 2013
3/21/13
1:21
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
Archive


DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose said Thursday he still doesn't have a return date in mind, despite the fact less than a month remains in the regular season, and he said only "God" knows for sure when he'll come back from ACL surgery.

Read the entire story.

King: Rose 'explosive,' return seems near

March, 15, 2013
3/15/13
9:59
AM CT
By Staff
ESPNChicago.com
Derrick RoseAP Photo/Eric GayStacey King said Derrick Rose looked explosive during a workout Wednesday in Sacramento.
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.

SportsNation

When do you think Derrick Rose will return?

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"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.

(Read full post)

Thibs: Derrick 'unlikely' to play Friday

March, 14, 2013
3/14/13
6:16
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said Thursday it's "unlikely" point guard Derrick Rose will make his season debut Friday night against the Golden State Warriors, but Thibodeau did acknowledge that he likes the way Rose continues to progress from a torn left ACL.

Read the entire story.

Rose saga continues on 'day-to-day' basis

March, 5, 2013
3/05/13
5:23
PM CT
Friedell By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com
Archive
Derrick RoseAP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastTom Thibodeau said there won't be any problem with chemistry when Derrick Rose returns.
SAN ANTONIO -- Derrick Rose's return remains unclear, but when head coach Tom Thibodeau was asked Tuesday if there was any chance Rose might be able to play Wednesday night against the San Antonio Spurs, he used an interesting choice of words to describe the ongoing situation with his franchise player.

"It's day-to-day," Thibodeau said of Rose's situation. "Day-to-day. So whenever he's ready, he's ready. We just want him to continue to improve, focus on his rehab, and then when he's ready to go we'll all know. Everyone has to remain patient."

(Read full post)

Podcast: Anthony expects Rose back soon

February, 25, 2013
2/25/13
3:36
PM CT
By Staff
ESPNChicago.com
Derrick RoseJerry Lai/USA TODAY SportsGreg Anthony expects Derrick Rose to return with an impact before too long.
Former Chicago Bulls guard and current television analyst Greg Anthony said Monday that he believes Derrick Rose will return to the court soon, and that the Bulls are very optimistic about Rose's return.

Anthony will be part of TNT's coverage Thursday night when the Bulls host the Philadelphia 76ers.

"I'm not saying he's going to play Thursday, but I sure as heck hope he does," Anthony said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "I will say this, I firmly believe Derrick Rose will be back on the court sooner rather than later.

"I do know and having talked to some people internally there they're very optimistic about his return. They're not in any hurry, per se, but I do think you're going to see him very soon. And I think you're going to see him play at an extremely high level once he works the rust out, having been out this long."

Rose continues to rehab from May 12 ACL surgery. The Bulls are hoping he'll return this season, but recent indications from Rose and his camp are that he may miss the rest of the season.

"I think it may have been topsy turvy and a roller coaster ride for those outside, but I think within that organization and within Team Rose they're right on schedule," Anthony said. "In fact, I would go even further and say they're ahead of schedule in terms of where he is."

Anthony said he doesn't assume Rose will play Thursday, but he's excited for when he does return.

"I'm excited for the process of him coming back and what that can mean for the Bulls and what it means in the postseason for the Eastern Conference, which other than Miami is anybody's guess who's going to that conference finals."

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Derrick Rose
PTS AST STL MIN
15.9 4.3 0.5 31.1
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Noah 11.3
AssistsJ. Noah 5.4
StealsJ. Butler 1.9
BlocksJ. Noah 1.5