- Nick Friedell, ESPN Staff Writer
- 0 Shares
Rose said he isn't sure when he'll return to the floor.
"I really don't know," he said. "I'm feeling good, but like I said, if it's where it's taking me a long time and I'm still not feeling right, I don't mind missing this year."
Rose said he would like to play this season but isn't sure if his body will heal in time.
"I would love to," he said. "I would love to. That's why I approached my rehab and my workout so hard. I'm trying to get back on the court as quickly as possible, but if I have anything lingering on, it's no point."
Rose's told USA Today Sports on Monday afternoon that he was still "far away" from returning and wouldn't come back until he was "110 percent." Rose did acknowledge late Wednesday night the decision to play is his and he would listen to his inner circle of trusted associates and Bulls' personnel.
"(Agent) B.J. (Armstrong), of course. People from the organization, (Bulls GM) Gar (Forman), (Bulls VP of operations John Paxson), all them people. Trainers, just people that I will normally be around every day. But it's really on me to make that decision when I'm going to play again, so that's cool that they left it up to me."
Rose, who injured his knee in the first game of the Eastern Conference playoffs on April 28 and had surgery on May 12, admitted he is still struggling with gaining his explosion back. The next step?
"Being able to dunk," he said. "I can't dunk, man. I know if I can dunk off stride, I know I'll be out there playing, but I can't."
Still, Rose's spirits appear high. He has accompanied the Bulls on the road since the first of the year and is enjoying being with his teammates.
"Right now, I'm feeling pretty good, man," he said. "Where (I'm) slowly getting back in the mix. The other day we played the 3-on-3, one-on-one, and I felt good out there. I'm not trying to rush myself, just still trying to be patient and just trying to take my rehab very serious right now."
Paxson said earlier Wednesday that Rose will participate in 5-on-5 practices after this weekend's All-Star break.
Meanwhile, Rose admitted he's struggling to regain both his mental and physical confidence.
"It's both still," the former MVP said. "My leg still isn't feeling right. Mentally, I think that I'm fine. Just every week just try to do something different. Every day stay on my rehab, do a little bit more, lift a little bit more, squat a little bit more and taking it very serious."
Rose said he has not taken a hit on the knee but isn't concerned about that aspect of his recovery.
"I'm not afraid of that, though," he said. "I know that's going to happen with the way that I play. I'm not scared of taking hits at all."
He does not believe his game will change because of the injury.
"I'm working on my shot but you're not going to label me as a shooter," he said. "I'm going to be someone that can consistently hit a jump shot, but my game is always going to be driving."
Rose acknowledged that he has watched the recovery of current and former players who have recovered from ACL injuries.
"I've been looking at the people in the past where everybody I think is coming back better," he said. "So it's exciting to know that all my hard work is going to pay off one day. I just don't know when."
Does he feel any extra pressure to return?
"(None) at all," Rose said. "That's the last thing I'm thinking about is coming back too soon. I know that it's all on me, so I just got to make the decision when I'm ready."
57mMichael C. Wright