- Nick Friedell, ESPN Staff Writer
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DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose said Monday that he won't start cutting on his surgically repaired left knee for a couple of weeks, but he also said he's surprising teammates with how far he's progressed.
"Right now, I'm not at that stage, where I didn't start cutting yet," Rose said during media day interviews. "I'm about two weeks away from that, where I'm starting to cut.
"I'm just trying to do everything the right way."
Rose tore his ACL in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Philadelphia 76ers on April 28. He underwent surgery on May 12 and the prognosis for his return was eight to 12 months. Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, however, said he will not allow Rose to return until he is 100 percent healthy.
"Probably when I start cutting again (he'll feel he's back), because right now cutting is the hardest thing in the world right now to do," he said. "I'm scared of it. And right when I think I get that out of my system I think I'll be pretty close, where I have to prove to them that I'm ready to play. Hopefully it (doesn't) take the whole year."
In the meantime, Rose plans to be around his teammates.
"(I'm) staying with the team right now, being around the team," Rose said. "Been doing most of my rehab up here every day, just showing them that I'm working hard and showing them that it's paying off where I'm surprising some of (his teammates) too, when I walk around, they're surprised how well I'm walking and just trying to keep things going, staying positive. I'm stress free. I'm at peace with myself, my health is OK and no one should be worrying about me."
Rose did not want to put a specific time frame on his return to the court.
"I wish I could be in training camp right now, but I can't," he said. "That's why I say I'm working on my patience, knowing that I have to prove to them that I'm ready to come back. It's not whenever I'm ready."
The former MVP acknowledged that he was having a harder time with the mental part of the rehab process. Still, he seemed comfortable with the process and in good spirits.
"(The ACL is) good, man," he said. "Every week I'm improving. Just trying to stay patient, taking my time, and hopefully be back soon."
Coach Tom Thibodeau, who signed a four-year contract extension earlier Monday, said patience is key with Rose.
"He's doing great," Thibodeau said on "The Carmen, Jurko & Harry Show" on ESPN 1000. "Each and every day he's doing his rehab. He's in (rehabbing at the Berto Center), very diligent.
"I would say not ahead of schedule, and not behind schedule. He's where he should be. Very upbeat. Looking forward to at some point coming back. When he's ready to go, he'll go. We have to be patient. It's the type of injury you have to take your time with. He understands that. He's made steady progress since the surgery. We'll see where he is in the second half of the season."
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