The big wait in Chicago surrounds the return of Derrick Rose and when exactly the former NBA MVP will hit the hardwood again. But while fans have been spoon-fed false return dates, Rose himself is now squashing the hope that he’ll for sure return in 2013, saying he’s open to missing the rest of the season if he’s not feeling right.
“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 spoke to USA Today on Monday, which was the first real time he’s ever spoken to the media regarding his return. Up to this point, any questions about Rose’s return were forwarded to the front office and either thrown away or given the timetable of “soon”. But Rose is twice in one week come out and said he’s not feeling 100 percent at the moment and is less than positive he’s going to return in 2013.
“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.”
It’s been a real wait-and-see approach with Rose and the Bulls have been surprisingly patient during the whole ordeal. Rose is making $16,402,552 this season and while owner Jerry Reinsdorf has been blasted by fans and writers for being cheap, he’s not asking Rose to rush back just so he can get his money’s worth.
From the start, this has always been a situation where the Bulls were never going to put Rose in until he was fully healed and despite the success of Adrian Peterson, the Bulls are not flinching in their decision. But for Rose to be fully healed, both his leg and his head have to be right and Rose says that’s just not the case right now.
“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.”
The former MVP is expected to participate in what will be a much covered 5-on-5 this weekend which will be his first contact-basketball simulation since he tore his ACL during last year’s playoffs. But while so far Rose has been telling Bulls fans things they don’t want to hear, he did reiterate that his game and the style he plays with won’t change due to his 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.”
Still, Rose says that he’s not interested in coming back too soon and will not tell the front office to put him in the starting lineup until he feels he’s 110 percent healthy. Rose says that it’s great that guys like Adrian Peterson and Ricky Rubio have recovered from their injuries and are back to business as usual in terms of their game but he’s not going to comeback just because other people are having success.
“That’s the last thing I’m thinking about is coming back too soon,” he said. “I know that it’s all on me, so I just got to make the decision when I’m ready.”