It must have been disappointing for Chicago Bulls fans to see the team falter to the NBA champions Miami Heat in the second round and wondering if the outcome might have been different if All-Star point guard Derrick Rose had returned for the NBA Playoffs.
The medical doctors had cleared Rose to play back in March. Rose had been participating in full contact practices for about three months prior to the playoffs. Fans could see Rose warm up during the playoffs, only to be disappointed that he remained in a suit on the bench.
The good news is that the Bulls have announced Rose will play in the preseason opener against the Indiana Pacers on October 5. A torn ACL is a tricky injury. Some players never recover. The only recent athlete to make a complete recovery from ACL surgery was Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.
It appears Rose will have a complete recovery because he is only 24-years old, and he has had about a year and a half to rehabilitate.
It may start slow before Rose resumes his MVP form two years ago. Each ACL injury circumstance is unique. He may still have anxiety issues. He is coming off a long layoff. The Bulls will have to adjust to Rose being the playmaker once again. On the plus side, the Bulls are finally healthy again. Jimmy Butler was a very improved player and can start at shooting guard. Joakim Noah‘s foot has had time to heal.
Mike Dunleavy is an upgrade to Rip Hamilton at shooting guard. Coach Tom Thibodeau has learned to reduce his starters’ minutes so that they will be healthy for the playoffs. The Bulls look ready to be the no. 2 or 3 seed in the Eastern Conference now that Rose is healthy.