Derrick Rose might be ahead of schedule in his recovery from ACL surgery, which might be great news for the Chicago Bulls and their fans.
Or, and this is entirely possible too, this might be horrible news cloaked as great news if it tempts Rose or the Bulls to unnecessarily fast-track his return and jeopardize things far greater than a few victories, some ticket sales or even a playoff spot next season.
This has been the summer of glum in Chicago, in terms of the Bulls’ offseason work in generating excitement for the coming year. The selection at No. 29 in the Draft of Kentucky point guard Marquis Teague – a player to sub for Rose eventually, rather than help alongside him – didn’t move many folks’ needles. Nor did the signing of alum Kirk Hinrich, a combo guard who came cheaply enough (“mini” mid-level exception) but seems like a one- or two-round guy rather than a championship piece.
Every day that forward Luol Deng spends with Great Britain’s national team for the London Olympics is a day lost from his expected surgery and recovery from the torn ligaments in his left wrist (Deng has that on indefinite hold). Also, management’s hardline approach to the Bulls’ bench — maybe matching Houston’s offer to Omer Asik but waving goodbye to C.J. Watson, Ronnie Brewer and possibly Kyle Korver and John Lucas III — struck Bulls fans as moves to save money rather than win playoff series. This all while talks over a contract extension for coach Tom Thibodeau have dragged on (nothing urgent, but still another mild downer).
Now we’ve got Reggie Rose, brother and manager of the 2011 MVP, reporting in from Los Angeles (where Rose lives in the summer) to ESPN.com that little bro’ might be capable of coming back sooner than expected. The timeline put on Rose by surgeon Brian Cole was “eight to 12 months” from the moment of his repair. Eight would have Rose back sometime around the New Year, 12 would wipe all of 2012-13 off the board for him.
But here’s Reggie Rose raising folks’ hope at a time when they are starved for something to feel good about:
“He’s walking without a [brace],” Reggie said. “He’s way ahead of schedule.
“It’s just keeping him focused, and we’re not trying to rush him. Basically, just rehab, rehab, rehab. We haven’t put nothing basketball in his face.”
That might not stop those desperate for Rose’s return from getting ahead of schedule as well in their hunger for something, anything, positive. It’s unlikely Bulls management would succumb to impatience and risk putting their franchise player in harm’s way too soon. But holding him out could get dicey not only with Rose as he strains at the leash to play but with a what-are-they-doing-anyway public.
Derrick Rose might be ahead of schedule in his rehab from left knee surgery, but he needs to be held to that schedule – plus a couple weeks – just for the Bulls’ future and everyone’s peace of mind.