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Derrick Rose has heard the talk that he would be better off sitting out the entire season to recover from knee surgery, but the Chicago Bulls star said he will return when he is "ready to play."
Former NBA All-Star point guard Tim Hardaway, who suffered a torn ACL in 1993 that kept him out of the following season, was one of those voices, recently telling ESPNNewYork.com that Rose should not play at all during the 2012-13 season.
"Everybody has their own opinions," Rose said in an interview Oct. 1 with ESPN's Rachel Nichols. "When the time comes I just have to be ready and prove to the people here that I am ready to play. Who knows when that time is? If it's all year I might wait the whole year, so what? If I come back at the All-Star (break), so what?
"If anything, I think I've learned it's going to help me with my patience. I think I'm way more patient."
Rose, who tore an anterior cruciate ligament in a playoff game April 28 and had surgery May 12, faces an eight- to 12-month recovery. But Rose has said he is ahead of schedule and is now running, shooting and jumping. He expects to begin cutting in another week. Bulls general manager Gar Forman told "Waddle & Silvy" on Thursday that he is optimistic Rose will play this season.
But Rose is not the only one who wants to make sure he is completely healthy before he returns. Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf has said he will not allow the team to rush Rose back, something he believes the Bulls did during Michael Jordan's second season in 1985-86 when Jordan broke a bone in his left foot.
As the Bulls open the preseason Tuesday against the Memphis Grizzlies, Rose said it will be difficult to be a spectator, but his teammates play a big role in his rehab.
"It's going to hurt at first, but I know that the players we have, they want to be here, and they're going to do anything to win," Rose said. "The character of the team is great. Everytime I come in here and see them working hard it makes me want to work harder in my rehab, and I take that to when I get home.
"I work out at home by myself. (I'm) just doing stuff like that to prepare myself so that when I come back, I'm not scared to play the way I normally play."