Kevin Durant confident in D-Rose

Updated: December 20, 2013, 11:35 AM ET
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Kevin Durant hasn't lost any confidence in Derrick Rose.

The Oklahoma City Thunder star is still convinced Rose will return to his league MVP form despite the fact the Chicago Bulls guard recently had knee surgery that shut him down for a second straight season.

"No doubt," Durant said after Thursday's 107-95 win over Rose's Bulls. "He's 25 years old, and with the trainers and the rehab and all the people that you have now as far as injuries that's helping, you only can get better. Especially mixed with his work ethic and his drive -- that's somebody that's going to come back at full strength.

"The league is much better when Derrick Rose is playing, so hopefully he gets back here soon and he gets that knee to full strength."

Thunder guard Russell Westbrook agrees. He said he has spoken with Rose several times since Rose tore the medial meniscus in his right knee Nov. 22 in Portland against the Trail Blazers.

"Just take his time," Westbrook said of the advice he offered. "We talked about it. He was in good spirits. It's unfortunate, but he'll be back to normal D-Rose."

Westbrook, who suffered a similar injury during last season's playoffs when he tore the lateral meniscus in his right knee, spent some time working out with Rose and Durant last summer while training in Santa Monica, Calif.

"It's tough," Westbrook said. "Not too many people can go through what Derrick went through of having one injury and then having another one right after it. It can be tough, but he has a lot of good people around him. I'm going to stay in touch with him and make sure he keeps his spirits up."

Durant has yet to speak with Rose but said he was upset when he heard about his friend's latest setback.

"I told their trainer to tell him that I asked about him," Durant said. "And I hope he's doing all right. They said his mind is in the right place and he's confident he's going to come back.

"It's unfortunate, man. When I heard about it, I was hurt because he worked so hard to get back. And I worked out with him [in the summer]; he put so much time in and he wanted everything to be perfect for him. I could tell by his work.

"And it's unfortunate for another injury to happen, but just from hearing [from other people], his mind is right and he's confident, so when he gets back, he's going to be the Derrick Rose of old."

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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