- Nick Friedell, ESPN Staff Writer
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Rose, who is just returning to action after missing close to a year and a half after ACL surgery, thinks that Westbrook shouldn't rush back to the floor unless he is completely ready.
"Take his time," Rose said after Wednesday night's win over the Thunder when asked what advice he might give Westbrook. "He's the only one that knows his body. There's no need to force anything. And attack every day of rehab like it's your last day. Get everything you [can] get out of it every day."
Rose took a lot of criticism for his decision not to come back and play for the Bulls last season despite being cleared by team doctors for several months. While Westbrook doesn't have the same injury (torn meniscus), Rose is confident that the speedy guard can come back and be as dominant as ever -- just as Rose has done over the first few weeks of the preseason.
"For sure," Rose said. "He has that type of will. His frame, his body, I think [the rehab] is just going to help him become a better player."
Rose, who spends much of his summers in the Los Angeles area working with personal trainer Rob McClanaghan, hasn't had a chance to socialize much with Westbrook up to this point. Westbrook started participating in some drills with the Thunder earlier this week, according to The Oklahoman.
"I really haven't had time to see Westbrook," Rose said. "When I was working out in L.A. it was [Kevin Durant] and [Kevin] Love that I was working out with every day, and [Westbrook] he was coming in town, but I think they were only limiting him to shoot like 100 shots at that time, so I think he was doing that with the team."
For Rose, the opportunity to play against Durant for the first time in a professional game in almost 18 months was an experience he appreciated. Rose scored 13 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Bulls to a 104-95 win.
"It's exciting," Rose said of playing against Durant. "Sometimes you get caught up in seeing what he's going to do out there because he's that good. For us, it's challenging, because that was our first time facing a scorer like that. Of course he's hard to defend. He's passing the ball great, so he's been learning."
4hSteve Ilardi and Jeremias Engelmann