Rose: 'My leg still isn't feeling right'

Rose: 'My leg still isn't feeling right'

February 13, 2013, 11:00 pm
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BOSTON—Sidelined superstar Derrick Rose spoke to the media Wednesday night after the Bulls’ 71-69 loss to the Celtics.

“I really don’t know,” Rose said when asked about his return to the court. “I’m feeling good, but like I said, if it’s where it’s taking a long time and I’m still not feeling right, I don’t mind missing this year.”

“Right now I’m feeling pretty good, man. I’m slowly getting back in the mix. The other day, we played a three-on-three, one-on-one and I felt good out there. I’m not trying to rush myself, just still trying to be patient and just trying to take my rehab very seriously right now,” he continued, surrounded by a small contingent of local reporters in the visiting locker room at TD BankNorth Garden. “It’s both [mental and physical] still. My leg still isn’t feeling right. Mentally, I think I’m fine. 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.

“I would love to [play this season]. That’s why I approach my rehab and workouts 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.”

When asked about what would signal to him personally that he was ready to play again, Rose responded, “Being able to dunk. I can’t dunk. I know that if I can dunk off stride, I know I’ll be out there playing, but I can’t.”

While Rose will ultimately make the decision about when to come back, he did cite a number of people, including his agent, former Bulls guard B.J. Armstrong, as well as members of the Bulls organization, as key in the decision-making process.

“B.J., of  course. People from the organization: Gar, Pax, all those people, trainers. Just people that I’m normally around every day, but it’s really on me to make that decision of when I’m going to play again, so that’s cool that they left it up to me,” he said, before being asked if he felt pressure to return. “Not at all. That’s the last thing I’m thinking about is coming back too soon. I know that it’s all on me, so I’ve just got to make the decision when I’m ready.”

“No setbacks right now, so that’s a good thing right now, to go in every day knowing that you’re just getting better,” Rose continued, prior to delving into whether he had taken any contact on his injured knee yet. “I’m not afraid of that, though. I know that’s going to happen. That’s the way that I play. I’m not scared of taking a hit, though. At all.”

Rose also discussed how he’ll approach the game when he return, as well as how the Bulls have performed in his absence.

“I’m working on my shot, but you’re not going to label me as a shooter. I’m going to be someone that can consistently hit a jump shot, but my game is always going to be driving,” he explained. “It’s great, man, knowing that they’re winning games. It seems like they’re fighting for me out there, so I don’t have anything but respect for them, for how hard they’ve been working in practice and when they’re going out there working as a team.”

The former league MVP acknowledged watching other guards who have recovered from ACL surgery, such as Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio, New York’s Iman Shumpert and Oklahoma City’s Eric Maynor.

“I’ve watched them a little bit. Maynor, in the beginning of the year, but not too much because I haven’t seen many of their games recently,” he said. “But I’ve been looking at the people in the past, where everybody I think is coming back better, so it’s exciting to know that all my hard work is going to pay off one day. I just don’t know when.”

Rose’s first interview of the season since training camp was published in Tuesday’s USA Today.