Derrick Rose is Physically (Not Mentally) Ready to Return

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Derrick Rose tore his ACL back on May 15 of last season, and had targeted the All-Star Weekend as the time that he would return to the Chicago Bulls.

Rose has yet to return, however, and the Bulls are being extremely cautious with him, and rightfully so. The 2011-12 NBA MVP has been the face of the franchise for his entire career and helped lead Chicago to a perennial spot in the upper end of the Eastern Conference.

Rose said that he will have to be “110%” before he comes back, and there are some reports floating around claiming that he could miss the entire 2012-13 NBA season.

On Monday, however, Rose was cleared for full contact 5-on-5 practice, and was dunking as the Bulls warmed up before getting beaten by the Oklahoma City Thunder.

http://youtu.be/LeH7M1aSprg

“I think it’s up here now,’’ an unnamed Bulls player said on Rose’s explosiveness after that same game in OKC. “I know it’s not [his heart]. We all know that, but he’s ready. he’s ready, man. Anyone who saw him in the five-on-five scrimmages knows that he’s ready. But it’s his body, so he’s gotta believe it.”

Rose is said to be using his ability to explode and dunk from his stride as a measuring stick for his capability, but that same teammate added that Rose has been “dunking since January.”

Skeptical? Bulls All-Star Joakim Noah isn’t.

“That’s my brother,’’ Noah said of Rose. “I don’t care what anybody says. I know how much he puts on his shoulders for the city of Chicago and for this entire organization, so I’ll never question him …never.”

So does that mean it’s Rose’s mind that’s holding him back? Whatever the case may be, here’s hoping that D-Rose is back on the court as soon as possible.

Both the Bulls and the entire NBA are not the same without him.

Follow Thomas Duffy on Twitter @TD_Knicks for articles, news, and all things NBA.

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