The return date of Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose is still uncertain after the 2011 Most Valuable Player suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament on April 28,2012—Game 1 of a first round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Bulls were nursing a 12-point lead when the injury occurred at the 1:22 mark of the final quarter.
Rose, who has granted few interview requests since sustaining the ACL injury, was asked if he had a definitive timetable for his return.
"I don't have a set date," Rose told USA TODAY Sports on Monday. "I'm not coming back until I'm 110%. Who knows when that can be? It can be within a couple of weeks. It could be next year. It could be any day. It could be any time. It's just that I'm not coming back until I'm ready."
When asked to gauge his current percentage, Rose responded that it was in the “high 80s.” However, he surmises that a full recovery is still “far, far away.”
The answer might not inspire much confidence for a quick return to action, but given that Rose purports it “could be any time,” it still leaves the window open for a possible return this season.
Nonetheless, the Bulls are continuing business as usual. Despite the loss of Rose, the team is currently ranked fourth in the Eastern Conference and are making due with their defensive identity instilled by Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau. Chicago ranks third in the league in team defense, giving up just under 92 points per game.
“The team has to concentrate on their improvement and their next opponent," said Coach Thibodeau. He (Rose) has to do his rehab, and then at some point, he'll rejoin us and we'll go from there. Nothing has changed."
Bulls center Joakim Noah is serving as the team’s defensive anchor, and he was recently rewarded for his efforts with a selection to the Eastern Conference All-Star reserves—an honor chosen by NBA coaches. Unfortunately, plantar fasciitis in his right foot may prevent him from playing in his first All-Star Game.
In the meantime, Rose is continuing with his rehabilitation. According to NBA.com, Rose added 10 to 11 pounds of muscle, and new facets to his game.
"I see what he's doing every day," said Coach Thibodeau. "He's coming along fine. He'll be fine."