Source: Derrick Rose cleared to play, not ready just yet

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Source: Derrick Rose cleared to play, not ready just yet

Derrick Rose's doctor has cleared the Chicago Bulls' star to play, a team source said, but his long-awaited return to the lineup won't occur until he can confidently dunk off his left foot, Rose has told the team.

Rose, who had surgery to repair a tear to the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on May 12, has been videotaped dunking off each foot, but more casually than he would during a game. A source said that although he has been practicing and scrimmaging hard, he told the Bulls that until he feels "in his mind" he can confidently dunk off his left foot in a game situation, he is not 100 percent mentally ready to return to competition.

The team is not pressuring Rose, the source said, but the Bulls are confident he will return this season and are still hoping for a mid-March return, which would mark 10 months after his surgery. The Bulls play at Golden State on March 15.

The source said the team has been assured by Rose's doctor that there is no more chance of the former MVP getting injured upon his return than anyone else and that the doctor told the Bulls that physically "he can play now." Rose is now dealing with the psychological side of trusting his body.

Rose, 24, raised the possibility that he wouldn't return at all this season during an interview on Feb. 13 after the Bulls lost to the Celtics in Boston, which was the last time Rose spoke publicly.

"I'm feeling good, but like I said, if it's where it's taking me a long time and I'm still not feeling right, I don't mind missing this year," he said. "I would love to [return]. I would love to. That's why I approached my rehab and my workout 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."

Since that interview, Rose has taken part in 5-on-5 scrimmages, beginning on Feb. 18.

He began sitting on the bench with the team on March 3.

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said after practice Friday that there are no new developments with Rose, and that the clearance for Rose to play in a game "hasn't been finalized yet."

"He's doing everything there is to do in practice so he's been cleared from that standpoint," Thibodeau said.

When asked if he would be able to play in a game if he said he's able to, Thibodeau said: "We'll cross that bridge when we get there. We're just going day by day. Just keep improving."

Thibodeau said the decision for Rose to play will be made by several people.

"There's a lot of people that got to sign (off)," Thibodeau said. "Obviously, he's the most important piece. But from Jerry (Reinsdorf) on down everyone has to sign off on it."

As far as what Rose is doing in practice, Thibodeau said: "He's doing everything. He's participating in every part of practice."

Thibodeau also said the Bulls are prepared to move on with or without Rose. "We'll see what happens," he said.

The perception that Rose wouldn't return this season was enhanced on Feb. 22, when his brother Reggie Rose told that the Bulls' lack of activity before the trade deadline would be a "big factor" in whether his brother would return.

"It's frustrating to see my brother play his heart and soul out for the team and them not put anything around him," Reggie Rose said at the time.

Derrick Rose assured the Bulls, the source said, that he did not share his brother's sentiment and issued the following statement: "I have always felt that the Bulls organization's goals have been the same as mine and that is to bring another championship to this city."

Bulls officials from coach Tom Thibodeau to general manager Gar Forman, vice president John Paxson and all the way up to Reinsdorf have said they won't rush Rose back. Reinsdorf told ESPN Chicago in August 2012 that he didn't want to make the same mistake he made with Michael Jordan after Jordan broke a bone in his foot during his second season in 1985. Jordan returned and didn't suffer another injury, but Reinsdorf has said that it was a risk he didn't want to take with Rose.

The Bulls have told Rose that while they will support whatever decision he makes, they would prefer he return this season, the source said, "and get it under his belt, rather than wonder all summer if he could."

Rose is considered the franchise cornerstone and signed a five-year contract extension worth more than $94 million in December 2011.

The Bulls enter action Friday in sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

-Melissa Isaacson,

Certainly sounds like a return may be in the cards. Like that he is taking it cautious. Would be incredibly interesting to see him play coming off the injury. What do people think, should he come back or make sure he is close to even closer to full level D-Rose at the start of 2013-14? Either way, glad to hear we might see him in the near future.

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He shouldn't listen to team

He shouldn't listen to team doctors. They just want to see him rush back for the sake of TV ratings. They are working for the NBA. He should listen to his own doctors and wait until he is completely healthy before he plays.

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I completely understand him

I completely understand him and the team not wanting to come back if he isn't 100%, but if the doctor clears him and he is 100% ready then he needs to play! You aren't going to mentally overcome anything if you don't get out there and try. He is a top 5 player so let the fans watch him play!

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Cleared to play meaning the

Cleared to play meaning the doctors have ok'd his knee problem. He should get in a little better shape before coming back. Not to say he is in anyway out of shape but just as a precaution so he doesn't end up hurting anything else. But I am so glad to hear this news :)

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if im him I wouldn't come

if im him I wouldn't come back this yr... I saw some users say that it would get the mental hurdle out of the way if he came back this yr... but is it really worth it?... the bulls are not beating the heat if he comes back... if hes not mentally ready I totally respect that.... that's what the preseason is for for next season... get back into game shape and be even more comfortable and confident

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Each knee is different, and

Each knee is different, and really only the person knows how well it is. There have been enough cautionary tales about basketball players coming back slowly off knee injuries to make me believe that unless there is no doubt in Derrick Rose's mind that the knee is good that he should return this season. The Bulls aren't going to win the title this year, and if Boston takes over the 4-seed tonight I do not see a single team (1-seed Miami, 2-seed New York, 3-seed Indiana, 4-seed Boston) they could beat in the first round of the playoffs without Rose back to normal.

Dirk was on "a 3-6 week timetable starting at or around October 20" after arthroscopic knee surgery. The injury resulted in him missing 29 games, slowly returning into the mix, and still has yet to regain pre-injury form.

Granger was said to "be out for approximately three months following an injection to treat left patellar tendinosis" in early November. He has played 5 games starting on February 23 (not surprisingly in poor form) and is now out again.

Rubio had have reconstructive surgery on ACL and LCL on March 21. "David Kahn has said he expects Rubio to be ready for the start of the 2012-13 season." Rubio debuted December 15, and really didn't come close to approaching rookie form until mid-February.

Wall was expected to miss about eight weeks due (from September 28th) to the deal with the "early stages of a stress injury to his left patella (knee)." He debuted January 12 after missing the first 33 games of which Washington won 5. To his credit, Washington is 14-12 with him despite not having all his explosion back.

Maynor had surgery on his torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on January 18, 2012. He returned for training camp, got off to a terrible start, lost his backup job, got traded, and really only seemed to find his old form in the past three games (12 and a half months after surgery). Even then, three games is three games.

Shumpert had surgery to repair a torn left ACL and lateral meniscus, and "the Knicks expect him to miss 6-8 months after surgery" from May 3. He debuted around the 8-month mark and has been consistently terrible since his return.

Trevor Mbakwe had surgery December 30, 2011 to repair his torn ACL. He started the 2012-13 season slowly, and did not really return to his pre-injury form until January.

It also makes me wonder whether a team considering drafting Nerlens Noel should think of him as someone who should sit out 2013-14. If he has already screwed up the knee twice, everyone needs to be smart enough to think with the big picture in mind.

Moon River
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Chicago Sports Host Comments

A sports radio host in Chicago (Bernstein on 670 the SCORE), says this is absolutely coming from the Bulls organization as pressure to get D. Rose on the court. He claims this is not in doubt. If you combine that along with Reggie Rose's (Derrick's brother and "manager") comments about the Bulls not doing enough in free agency for the Bulls to win, you have a nice little story brewing in Chicago. I personally think D. Rose may be physically cleared to play, but mentally, he is not there yet.

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I was listening to the show

I was listening to the show as well. The doctors not only medically cleared him to play but they are RECOMMENDING that he play. Also, it isn't just the team doctors recommending that he play, that is the word coming from HIS doctors as well. Playing and testing the knee in game action is PART of the process. The problem is that Derrick wants to be Derrick when he comes back, but that is not possible immediately coming off of this type of injury with that amount of time off. Regardless of when he comes back, whether it's this yr or next, he's gonna have to work his way back into form.

Also, I doubt the team is trying to force him to play. They have a very realistic FO and they acknowledge that the team this season is not a championship caliber season. There is no added incentive to force him back if it'd mean jeopardizing his LT health.

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Yeah i feel as tho the Bulls

Yeah i feel as tho the Bulls want him back. Hes a humble dude and hes prolly afraid of hurting it again. I wouldnt come back if i was him, until maybe the playoffs if not, wait till next season. D Rose has allot of games ahead of him, hes only 24. I broke my ankle twice, the same one. And i came back to early the first time and it didnt feel the same. After a year or two i broke it again, which was this past new years and it healed ok after treatment but im mentally not ready to play yet. I think its mental so i know what D Rose is going through. You have to go out there and test it tho. But for anyone who says its not mental, it is.

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It's no point of him really

It's no point of him really playing this year, he's going to have to get back in game shape, and plus have confidence in himself again....something that he's had for 24 years, it's going to be hard for him to go out and play as good as he wants if he doesn't trust his body...let alone himself.

He can rehab like crazy this summer, maybe play in a pro-am, or some pick up games at home and get a feel for playing in a real game again, then go hard in training camp, maybe play more minutes than an average starter would in preseason, then come season he should be back 100% physically and mentally.

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There is no point of him NOT

There is no point of him NOT playing this year. If he is recovered, then he is recovered. He's done the rehab. There is no more rehabbing to do. Playing on his knee is part of the recovery process.

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Speaking as a Fan

Speaking as a fan I would love to see him back on the court but not at the expense of his future. Look if it takes longer for him to come back right I'd rather that be the case than him rushing back and getting hurt again ending up out even longer. Sometimes you have to do what is best for you.

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Yeah I was listening to the

Yeah I was listening to the radio today as well, and I totally agree that the Bulls organization is trying to call him out. The facts are, the doctors say he should come back, than he should BTPH brought up many good points, but we are nearly a month past his original expected return date, and no one said he was going to be awesome the second he returns, its just the next step in the rehab process, thats all.

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This is disappointing. I wish

This is disappointing. I wish he would've attacked this like AP. It's proven that if confidence in your recovery speeds up the process and that worry slows it down.

Status Quo
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As a Bulls fan

Let him sit until next season. Why push him into playoff basketball and have Thibs try to understand limiting his minutes during the playoffs? Since coverage of his recovery has been so blown out of proportion, why take the risk of him not feeling comfortable mentally on the court?

Last time I looked D.Rose was still under 25 and 2 seasons removed from being MVP. Everybody is sipping that Adrian Peterson juice and thinking that because he came back and was the same beast if not a better beast than he was before the injury, that Rose and Bulls should be pressed to get him on the court right now.

If he's not ready, we have a full off-season to revamp the roster as best as possible (aka bring over Mirotic and amnesty Boozer, move Taj Gibson to the starting lineup and try to find another swingman who can play D, as well as, spell/play alongside Deng/Butler), let Rose get back to form mentally playing on his knee and train like he is used to doing in the off-season.

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Jesus Christ, the Bulls are

Jesus Christ, the Bulls are gritty. They're fighting tooth and nail with the Jazz, without Gibson, Hinrich while pretty much giving Jimmy Butler and Nazr Mohammad the only bench minutes. This team plays like few in the league, in regards to fire. I hope Derrick can come back this season, even in limited minutes, I think his presence will get them past NY, or Brooklyn.

I understand his hesitation, but this is a team fighting for everything. I hope his brother was just being a jackass, and he gives the Bulls a chance before the ECF, which they wouldn't reach without him.

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Thank you JoeWolf. You seem

Thank you JoeWolf. You seem like one of the few people who actually watches the Bulls...this team is competing with playoff teams with half their team out, Maquis Teague playing major minutes, Bellinelli as its crunch time scorer, and basically no depth at all. If anyone thinks that with a healthy D Rose this team isn't at least the 2nd best team in the East, they are crazy. Thibadeau still doesn't get enough due. If they finish as the 4 or 5 seed and he isn't coach of the year, the award should just be discontinued.

Again, they are starting NATE ROBINSON whose barely been in the league for the past 2 years. They are leaning on MARCO BELLINELLI to do everything down the stretch. There front court has been good, but with Gibson injured NAZR MUHAMMAD is there only back up big man, basically forcing all of those guys to play huge minutes.

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