Derrick Rose spoke to reporters during the Bulls afternoon practice at UCLA, 10 months to the day he had surgery to repair a torn left anterior cruciate ligament he suffered during the team’s first game of their first round series against Philadelphia on April 28.
Rose, unlike the rest of us, hasn’t bothered paying attention to what’s being said about him and his status, choosing to focus on spending time with his son and his continued rehabilitation.
“It’s crazy. I hear about it, but I try not to pay attention to it,” said Rose on the reports even going as far to say that there is a rift with management pushing him to play.
“Everybody assumes everything. I’m the last person someone would have a confrontation with. I’m not trying to argue with anyone. Everything has been great. It’s crazy when you hear all the stories that [are] going on and none of them are true.”
The 24-year-old point guard also has no timetable or targeted date for return
“I really don’t know. I’m just like y’all, where I’m waiting for that day where I feel normal. Until then, I’ll just wait,” he said. “I haven’t had any pressure from the organization or no one else to push me to go out there and play. My teammates have been doing great with just playing hard for me. They’re still out there playing hard and fighting, so that’s a good sign and we’re winning games. So I’m not worried about anything right now.
“I think I can do everything,” he continued. “It’s just me having the confidence to do it, just me feeling normal.”
The shorthanded Bulls have 19 games remaining in the regular season and currently sit fifth in the Eastern Conference. They are still without Kirk Hinrich, Taj Gibson and Richard Hamilton and Rose wants to be able to come back at the level he’s comfortable with in order to have an impact on the team.
“That’s why I say normal,” he said. “I’m just trying to feel normal. When I’m out there and I’m not thinking, I’m just reacting, that’s how I know I’ll be ready.
"I just think with any surgery, mentally, you still have to get over that hump and that’s what I’m doing now. I’m able to play, but just getting over that hump. I should be fine.
"This is a major surgery. I knew going in, talking to a lot of people, like [agent B.J. Armstrong], he’s had like five knee surgeries,” he continued. “So I can talk to him about anything about knees. Having him on my side helps me a lot, getting a lot of background stuff from him.”
Rose also clarified his comments to ESPN over the weekend regarding his hamstrings being on fire being the reason for the delay in his return. He said the hamstrings are ‘waking up’ and getting stronger. He also told reporters that there have been no setbacks and everything is moving along fine.
He also acknowledged when he is ready to return, he’ll have to sit down with his camp and the Bulls organization and both agree to that decision mutually.
“This is a business,” Rose said. “You have to sit down and talk with everyone, dot your I’s and cross your T’s. If I rush back and something was to happen, everybody would say ‘why did you rush back?’ So, just taking my time and being prepared and knowing when I come back I’m going to be 100 percent and stronger.”