Any hope that Chicago Bulls' fans have of seeing their star point guard take the court this season is slowly falling out of reach. While the initial diagnoses had Derrick Rose returning from a torn anterior cruciate ligament after the All-Star break, now Rose is saying his leg is still not where it needs to be in order for him to make his comeback.
"My leg still isn't feeling right. I know if I could dunk off stride, I know I'd be out there playing. But I can't," Rose said to media after the Bulls' loss to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.
Rose has been rehabing the injury since the intial damage occured in the opening game of the playoffs last season. While he has not played, he has been traveling with the team and has been seen practicing and participating in shootarounds. This gave hope that he might be returning sooner rather than later, a report Rose was quick to turn down.
"If it's where it's taking me a long time and I'm still not feeling right, I wouldn't mind missing this year," Rose said.
Rose has been taking the approach during rehab that he will return this season, something he says he is doing his best to make happen. He does not want to return unless he is positive his leg is at "110 percent."
Many speculate that the team and outside endorsers like Adidas are rushing Rose to return. He insists that it is his decision to not be playing right now is his and no one else will influence that.
Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau believes that Rose is right on schedule with his rehab and has not had any setback that would change his timetable of returning. The team has not changed their outlook on the season based on when Rose will return.
"When he's ready, we'll know. We'll go from there. That's why we've approached it the way we have. The team has to concentrate on their improvement and thier opponent," Thibodeau said.
Rose has been praticipating in three-on-three and one-on-one drills recently. There have been no signs of reinjury,
The Bulls had the best record in the Eastern Conference with Rose playing and were expected to challenge the Miami Heat for the Championship. Without Rose this season, they are fifth in the standings heading into the All-Star break. They were not expected to do much without Rose in the lineup.