Derrick Rose is returning from a torn ACL, which is one of the most devastating injuries in the world for a basketball player, especially one who relies so much on his leaping ability and athleticism. The Chicago Bulls are not making the return any easier for their superstar PG.
Rose, the MVP of the ’11 season, was told by doctors in January that he could begin full-contact practices, and a month later, he was cleared for full-court scrimmages. Essentially, that meant that Rose was on the brink of a comeback.
Now it is late-March, and the Bulls are still without their best player.
The gaping hole in the roster hasn’t stopped them from going 38-31, and solidifying the #2 spot in the Central Division. Without Rose, however, the team will struggle to make any kind of serious noise in the play-offs.
Rose’s return to the court is now a matter of his own confidence in the strength of his knee, and he is understandably hesitant to rush back. The soft-spoken superstar has given very distant, dry answers to questions from reporters in regards to when he will be back.
“I feel like when I’m ready to come back, I’ll be ready,” Rose said, which doesn’t really make any sense at all. He also added that, “It could be tomorrow where I feel I can play next game, nobody knows but God.” Clearly, this is more of a mental issue than it is medical.
Rose is physically ready to come back; mentally, not so much. And that’s alright- the man did tear the most crucial part of his knee. Chicago’s star needs to take his time coming back, because it is his body, his career, and his life. D-Rose is a warrior and will come back when he knows he can, whether that is this year or next.
The Bulls are really making this hard for Rose, though. What was to be gained by making all of this information public? The team, whether knowingly or unknowingly, piled even more pressure onto their PG, because now everyone knows that he is medically able to play. Chicago could have easily kept this quiet and not made such a big deal out of the mental struggles Rose is experiencing. Instead, they put the best Bulls player since Michael Jordan in a really uncomfortable position.
Rose is a player who loves each and every one of his fans (he broke into tears at a sneaker release because he was touched by all of their support), and now faces two choices: coming back earlier than he wants to and risking injury, or taking his time and disappointing his supporters.
Knowing the type of player (and person) that Rose is, he will come back. Here’s hoping that when he does, he flourishes and doesn’t put himself through too much pain for an organization that pretty much hung him out to dry.