The words the basketball world has been waiting to hear for almost a year now just came down: “Derrick Rose is cleared to play.” So says his doctor, clearing the way for Derrick to officially return to an NBA floor.
BUT, not so fast. There’s still a hurdle in the way of Rose resuming his career, and it’s something that multiple Dime readers have been locked in on for weeks.
When we posted this video of Rose dunking in pre-game warmups back on February 25th, many of our readers on Facebook immediately hit us that they’re not ready to buy in on Rose’s return until they see him dunk off of his surgically-repaired left knee/leg. Lo and behold, along with the news of the Rose’s medical clearance comes word that he won’t play in a game until he is comfortable doing that very thing.
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.
As we’ve said 100 times on the site, it’s not worth it for Rose to come back a single second before he’s absolutely ready to go.
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