Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose has again refused to reveal whether or not he feels as though he could return to the court before the regular season ends.
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Rose underwent surgery on February 27 after suffering a tear in the meniscus in his right knee, but after having part of the meniscus removed it was suggested by the Bulls that he would return in between four and six weeks.
While that timetable has nearly expired, both Rose and the Bulls organisation sound confident that he will still be able to play some minutes ahead of the playoffs in order to regain his wind and rhythm.
The 26-year-old has participated in contact practice this week for the first time since the injury, taking part in 4-on-4 and 5-on-5 scrimmages with his teammates.
However, he wanted to control expectations by insisting that he will see how he feels in the coming days and weeks and will return if he feels right.
“Just building strength,” Rose said, ESPN reports.
“Just trying to take care of my body, hydrate, but strength has to be there.”
Rose repeatedly replied with “who knows?” when asked if would be able to return before the regular season concludes, adding that he has to stay patient and stick with the process.
“I was able to get to the spots. It’s just that making shots and just getting the wind to actually run up and down, that’s the hardest thing. But as far as playing a game or trying to come back full strength and all that, that’s going to come. My rhythm of the game will come. It just takes me being out there and actually playing.”
Part of Rose’s hesitancy in giving a timetable is understandable, as after suffering three serious knee injuries in three years he will want to focus on what he has to do to get back to 100% instead of listening to outside influences and being effected by the pressure from external sources.
However, Bulls fans know the importance of seeing him back on the court ahead of the playoffs as he holds the key to turning them from a good team into a great one that is capable of making a deep post-season run.
Coach Tom Thibodeau backed his former MVP and insisted that he needs to get some practices under his belt first before he can think about returning to competitive action. However, there isn’t much time to go as the Bulls have just seven games remaining before the playoffs start.