“Here we go again,” a million Bulls fan said collectively after they read the headline of this post. I don’t blame them. After sitting out the entire 2012-13 season, Derrick Rose made his return to the floor this year, but it lasted just 10 games before he was sidelined for the season again with a medial meniscus tear in his right knee. Now, it appears Rose is fully recovered and ready to resume playing basketball as soon as this summer.
According to K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune, Rose would be ready to play if the season started tomorrow:
As previously reported, Rose began taking full contact in the form of one-on-one or two-on-two or three-on-three offday sessions late in the first-round series against the Wizards. Rose has had no setbacks and, if the season started tomorrow, would be fine to play. He remains on schedule to participate in the Team USA minicamp in Las Vegas at the end of July and hopes to make the World Cup team that will compete in Spain in late August through early September.
If it all goes according to plan, it looks like Rose will indeed be at training camp later this month for Team USA, and would be on track to participate at the 2014 FIBA World Cup. For the record, the Bulls are supportive of Rose’s decision to play in the tournament. General manager Gar Forman said in March it would be a terrific opportunity for Rose.
Bulls fans may be concerned about Rose risking injury before training camp, but there’s also potential benefits to having Rose participate in the tournament.
Because of injuries and a shortened season due to the lockout, Rose has appeared in just 49 regular season games in the last three years. He looked great in the preseason this year, but when he suffered his season-ending injury at Portland, he was averaging career lows across the board: 15.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists per game while shooting just 35.4 percent from the field.
The long layoffs means it’ll take time for Rose to acclimate himself to the pace of competitive basketball — especially at the NBA level. In this regard, the FIBA World Cup would be a great tune-up for Rose. It would give both himself and the Bulls a preview of what they can expect heading into training camp.
Despite all of the setbacks, Rose will only be 26 years old when next season starts. Depending on what the Bulls do this off-season, they could be back in contention for the Eastern Conference title next season. A healthy and effective Derrick Rose would go a long way towards making it a certainty.
What do you think?
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