LOS ANGELES -- Injured superstar Derrick Rose addressed the media before the Bulls’ Tuesday-afternoon practice at UCLA, providing an update on his recovery from his ACL surgery, which occurred exactly 10 months ago.
“Right now, I’m feeling about the same, where my leg is getting a lot stronger. I’m just trying to be patient,” Rose said. “I think I can do everything. It’s just me having the confidence to do it. It’s just me feeling normal.”
Rose, like the rest of us, doesn’t know when or if he’ll play this season.
“I really don’t know. I’m just like you all, where I’m just waiting for that day where I feel normal. Until then, I will just wait," he said. "I haven’t had any pressure from the organization or anyone to push me out there and just play.
My teammates have been doing great with just playing hard for me. They’re still out there playing hard, fighting, so that’s a good sign, and we’re winning games. So, I’m not worried about anything right now,” he explained. “I don’t know. I’m just coming back when I feel normal. If that’s in a couple of days, that’s great. If not, I’ll be fine. When I’m out there and I’m not thinking, I’m just reacting, that’s how I know I’ll be ready.”
Rose also reaffirmed the Bulls’ consistent message -- from head coach Tom Thibodeau to the front office -- that there is no timetable for his return, also noting that his comments to ABC before Sunday’s loss to the Lakers about his “hamstrings on fire” don’t indicate a setback.
“I don’t have a date, to tell you the truth. I haven’t even really thought about it. Like I said, I’m just taking my time. I haven’t taken any steps back. I’m moving forward, I’m getting stronger every day. I did every workout possible. My workouts are getting a lot easier, but I’m moving in the right direction,” he said. “[My hamstrings are] just waking up. They’re getting a lot stronger, but they’re coming along. I’m moving in the right direction, haven’t taken any steps back.”
“I knew going in this is a major injury. I had surgery,” Rose continued. “[Former Bulls guard] B.J. [Armstrong], he’s my agent, and he had like five knee surgeries, so I could talk to him. I could talk to him about anything, about knees. He knows, so having him on my side helps me a lot.”
Thibodeau, who acknowledged that Rose would not play in Wednesday’s game in Sacramento, said that the recent hamstring issue is simply part of the point guard’s rehabilitation process.
“This is all part of his recovery, so nothing has really changed. He just has to keep doing what he’s doing and when he gets comfortable, he’ll go, so that part’s all the same,” he explained. “His knee feels fine. His hamstrings, until he feels comfortable with that, he just has to keep doing what he’s doing. He’s doing great.”
Rose also addressed some of the controversies that have arisen during his recovery, from his alleged rift with the Bulls organization to his brother Reggie Rose’s comments about the team.
“It’s crazy. I hear about it, but I try not to pay attention to it,” he said. “Crazy, making up stuff. Everybody assumes everything, man. I’m the last person someone would have a confrontation with. I’m not trying to argue with anyone or anything. Everything’s been great. It’s crazy. You hear all the stories that’s going on and none of them are true.
“I’ve just been focusing on rehab and my son,” Rose said. “I just try to stay positive, think about other stuff. When I’m at home, just try to be around my son as much as possible. My brother is my brother, where I’m going to have his back, no matter what, so the comments, he just felt he had to say something. That’s his opinion. I just felt the organization has been doing a great job of getting people around me, but he just had to get it off his chest.”
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The former league MVP acknowledged that when he does return to the court, his role for the Bulls necessitates him being in the best condition possible physically because of his level of responsibility for the team, meaning that when he feels comfortable enough to play in games, it will be a decision made not just by him, but a group of people that includes the Bulls and his own camp.
“This is a business, so we have to sit down, talk to everyone, dot your I’s, cross your T’s and I should be fine,” he said. “If I would have rushed back and something was to happen, everybody would say, ‘Why did you rush back?’ So, just taking my time and being prepared, and knowing when I come back, I’m going to be 100 percent.”