Late last season there was a lot of consternation from Bulls fans after Derrick Rose was medically cleared to play; except, he didn’t suit up for the Bulls, who beat the Nets in a tough first round series, only to fall to eventual champion Miami in the second round. Rose waited until this season to make his dramatic return, only to suffer from a medial meniscus tear in his other, right knee before we even got to December. He was deemed out for the season by the team after surgery. But now a tidbit in this weekend’s New York Daily News says the Bulls are expecting him back for this year’s playoff run. What?
In Mitch Lawrence’s big column this weekend for the New York Daily News, Lawrence spends a lot of time on Phil Jackson‘s new role as president of the Knicks and the idea Steve Kerr might take over as coach next season.
Towards the very bottom of the piece, though, we get this seemingly innocuous line about Rose:
It’s no joke â€” the Bulls really are expecting Derrick Rose to make it back from his latest knee injury in time for the playoffs.
This is strange for a lot of reasons, but one argument against the veracity of the rumor stems from the fact Rose had his right meniscus repaired, rather than shorn down. Dwyane Wade famously had his meniscus shaved while in college at Marquette and has experienced a lot of pain in his knee since that time. Ostensibly, a shaved meniscus would have led to a 1-2 month window for Rose’s return. But he went the safe route and had it re-attached, effectively ending his year before it even really began.
Another argument against the Lawrence rumor is Rose’s lack of training time. Even with a more than a month under his belt practicing with the team in full-contact drills last season, he still chose to abstain from playing in the playoffs. After taking every necessary precaution to avoid reaggravating his left knee during the 2012-13 season, why would Rose jeopardize his left knee to play when the playoffs start this year?
And the playoffs are starting pretty soon (whoopee!). The Bulls only have 12 games remaining, as they look towards cementing their No. 4 spot in the East and home-court advantage over whichever team finishes as the 5-seed (currently, the Nets, but the Wizards are just two games back).
But, and it’s an ALL-CAPS BUT, Rose did infer a possible return not soon after having surgery done to repair his right menisicus.
Here is what he told the AP back in early December when asked if he could make it back on the court for this season’s playoffs:
“If I’m healthy and the situation is right, I will be back playing. If I’m healthy and my meniscus is fully healed, of course I’ll be out there playing. But if it’s something totally different and the outcome is not how I would want it to be, there’s no need.”
While some Bulls fans were amped at the idea, it seemed â€” from more objective observer’s POV â€” like wishful thinking. Then again, when some brave soul asked Rose at that same press conference whether the Bulls should think about moving on following his second consecutive season-ending knee surgery, Rose cautioned against that line of thinking, telling reporters, “What can I say to that? You could be a fool if you want to. I know I’m going to be all right.”
Rose has been doing light drills at the Bulls’ training facility over the last month, but there’s enough media in Chicago to have spotted him if he was playing in full-contact scrimmages with teammates or some other indicator he might be ready to don a uniform yet again.
We don’t want to be a fool, like Rose warned about, so we won’t totally nix the idea of a possible return in time for this season’s playoffs. Then again, we doubt it actually happens, even if it would give all basketball fans a lot of join to see him back on the court.
Is there any truth to the rumor D-Rose might be back for the playoffs?
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