Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose is set to make his comeback from injury this week as he looks to gain valuable minutes ahead of the playoffs.
Rose non-committal over Bulls return: Former MVP could return before regular season ends.
Rose takes full contact in practice: Bulls star takes next step in rehab.
Rose is pain-free and closing in on return: Point guard making good progress.
Rose underwent surgery back in February and had part of his meniscus in his right knee removed after suffering a tear which was his third serious knee injury in as many years.
While he has remained non-committal on a return since, the general expectation within the organisation has been that he would return between four and six weeks after the procedure, and that timetable is coming to a conclusion.
The former MVP has stepped up his rehabilitation by taking contact in practice last week in 5-on-5 scrimmages with his teammates, and the feeling is that he will be ready to return before the playoffs start.
That will be vital for the point guard as he will need minutes under his belt to get his strength and conditioning back up, and it appears as though Bulls fans won’t have to wait much longer before seeing him back on the court.
“If anything, I’m just trying to get my mental [approach] together so when I come back it won’t be like my previous times,” Rose told ESPN’s Lisa Salters.
“I think I was away from the game too long [during] previous injuries, and with me missing five, six, seven weeks now, I think that my return is about to be [smoother].
“I’m playing all right. For a guy that missed two years, coming back and just being able to be with these guys and still being on the game plan. What do you know, missed two years and still be on the game plan … the team is preparing for you? I’m just grateful for that. I’m grateful to still be able to play this game.”
Both coach Tom Thibodeau and the rest of the team continue to stand by Rose, insisting that only he knows when he will be ready to return and they are confident in leaving that decision with him and to let him notify them when the time comes.
The Bulls play the Orlando Magic on Wednesday, the Miami Heat on Thursday before a home game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday. While it is likely that he will have a minutes restriction to start with, Thibodeau insisted that it would be a boost for the entire organisation just to have him out there and give the team what he can, according to ESPN.