With the Chicago Bulls hitting the final stretch of the regular season trying to improve their playoff seeding, the return of Derrick Rose before the beginning of the postseason is crucial to their plans, hopes and aspirations. Both the ball club and the player seem to be confident that he’ll be coming back in time to help them out.
Rose hasn’t played since a Meniscus tear was discovered on February 24. He was averaging 18.4 points and 5 assists per game this season, although he has missed some games due to injuries all over his body. Some suggest that this rest for this injury is actually a blessing in disguise, which will give him time to heal up from all the other nagging injuries that have been a part of his second comeback attempt. The first one was cut short with a meniscus injury.
There’s a good chance I’ll be back this season. That’s the plan. I’m not even thinking about that right now. I’m thinking about getting the most out of every day. The way that I’m feeling right now, it’s a good chance that I’ll come back. Knowing I had the ACL injury, whenever you have a knee injury after that, you’re thinking it’s always an ACL. Me thinking that and knowing it wasn’t, it was a sign of a little relief.
The Bulls are going nowhere without Rose, while they’re also missing Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson at the moment, and have had to handle the absences of Mike Dunleavy, Joakim Noah and rookie Doug McDermott in different phases of this season. They’ve still managed to hold on to a top 4 spot in the East, but even with Rose and Butler back, they’re not going to be able to catch the Atlanta Hawks. Right now the goal is finishing in second (one game behind right now), battling with the Cavaliers, Raptors and Wizards for the 2-3-4-5 spots.
Rose hasn’t played in a playoff game since his famous ACL tear in 2012 against the Philadelphia 76ers. Then, a Bulls team with the best record in the NBA beat a rival they were expected to take care of, and Rose probably played in garbage time minutes instead of resting. Regardless of why it happened, it did, and it seems to have changed the course of a meteoric rise for the 2011 MVP and the projected road towards a title for the Bulls.
Rose was also asked by reporters about whether it might be wise for the Bulls to move on from. He doesn’t see it like that. Yes, he hasn’t played a whole lot of basketball over the last three seasons, but when he’s healthy, he has shown he can still be one of the best point guards in the league. The Bulls have invested too much in him to give up on someone who is more than just a player because of his connection to the city.
Unlike the 2012-2013 season (which Rose completely missed) when it was constantly teased that he’s going to come back for the postseason, this time it looks a bit more real. From the moment of his injury, things seemed more serious and laid back then before. Sure, this does not bode well for his long term fitness and career considering how often he picks up minor and serious injuries, but his chapter with the Bulls, and in this season as well, still isn’t over.