CHICAGO — First it was the doctors. Then it some sort of mutual decision involving the team and the player. Then for a spell, it seemed as if the marketing execs and the shoe manufacturer might hold sway over Derrick Rose‘s return to the Chicago Bulls’ lineup from knee surgery last May.
Turns out everyone was wrong.
“Nobody knows but God,” Rose told reporters Thursday when asked, yet again, about his likely comeback date.
And The Big Guy apparently hasn’t leaked the info to his favorite blogger.
Rose’s return game remains unknown – will it be this week, before the regular season ends, sometime in the playoffs or as far away as October? – because the Bulls’ franchise point guard still doesn’t feel quite right. The good news is, he apparently is close: “It could be tomorrow and I feel like I can play the next game,” he said. The bad news is, he still is experiencing soreness in his left knee, site of his repaired anterior cruciate ligament, that prevents him from playing as instinctively and freely as he did before the injury in Chicago’s playoff opener last April 28.
“It’s still about the same where you warm up a little bit, it’s loose,” Rose said. “Then, the activity picks up and it gets back sore. Just fighting through that.”
Time would seem to be running out – the Bulls have just 15 games left after their Thursday night home clash with Portland. But Rose repeated his openness to coming back even if the playoffs have begun.
Then again, his return might sync up with the preseason rather than the postseason, with a fully healed but even more rusty Rose showing up in October.
Way back in 1996, when Stephon Marbury was introduced in Minnesota after being drafted by the Timberwolves, the Coney Island product talked about the specialness of those who play his position best. He said: “Point guards are delivered from God.”
The Bulls were hoping more FedEx than parcel post.