Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose will make his return to action against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.
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The 26-year-old underwent knee surgery in February and had part of the meniscus in his right knee removed after suffering a tear.
It was the third knee procedure that the former MVP has undergone in as many years, but given the nature of the surgery, it has allowed him to return much quicker than on the two previous occasions.
The optimism has been growing within the Bulls organisation over the past week as Rose has made significant progress in his rehabilitation, and he stepped it up last week after taking part in 5-on-5 scrimmages with his teammates and taking full contact.
As a result, although he is still lacking conditioning which will come with playing time, he is expected to play around 20 minutes against the Magic and will be available for selection in the second game of the back-to-back against the Miami Heat on Thursday.
While that all depends on whether or not he is able to come through shootaround without any problems, the expectation is that Rose will be back on the court on Wednesday.
As noted by Bulls reporter Nick Friedell on Twitter, the excitement around the team will undoubtedly give them a boost down the final stretch of the regular season, and Rose’s return will be a significant bonus with the playoffs around the corner.
It was widely considered essential for him to get some minutes under his belt before the post-season got underway, and it appears as though he will have five games to get his wind and rhythm back.
Thibs very happy. So are the players. Big sense of excitement for team to have Rose back.
— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) April 8, 2015