After a strong performance against Brazil for Team USA this weekend, Derrick Rose sat out today’s practice to rest his surgically repaired knees. Although the news gave Chicago Bulls fans initial concern, it is has been reported that this day off was pre-planned and does not imply any new developments in Rose’s recovery. The news was first reported by ESPN’s Marc Stein earlier today and subsequent statements have confirmed the rest day as a precautionary measure.
No Derrick Rose in this Team USA practice on ESPN2. “Planned light day” and knees in ice for D-Rose after his United Center return SAT night
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 18, 2014
Despite confirmation by Rose, head coach Mike Krzyzewski and assistant coach (and more importantly, Bulls head coach) Tom Thibodeau, some are still concerned that this rest may be a sign of things to come. Rose is coming off two major knee surgeries in just over two years and, as demonstrated by Saturday’s win against Brazil, his explosive and often-times reckless style of play may require him to be closely monitored.
According to Rose, he’s not feeling any ill effects from saturday’s full-speed scrimmage. “I feel great actually. My body is good. I’m not aching, so that’s a good sign, and I’m just trying to take it day by day,” said Rose during today’s ESPN “Hoops for Troops” special. That’s good news, clearly, but Bulls fans are understandably skeptical about Rose’s need to take it day by day and occasionally take practice time off.
While sitting out some practices and occasionally missing back-to-backs surely wouldn’t derail the Bulls season in any meaningful way, comparisons to a deteriorating Dwyane Wade surely come to mind. Wade, who has been battling balky knees for the last severals years by sitting games and limiting practices, has seen his productivity fall dramatically as his reduced explosion took a toll on his game. Obviously, Rose is much, much younger (he’s 25), but Wade didn’t have two invasive knee surgeries and a history of non-contact knee injuries.
At the end of the day, Rose looks fantastic on the court and if he can play in a Bulls uniform like he’s poised to play for Team USA in next month’s FIBA tournament, Chicago has nothing to worry about. It’s important to proceed slowly and nobody knows that fact better than Rose and coach Thibodeau. Unless we hear otherwise, we should all be gearing up to witness a full Rose comeback this October.
Jeremy Rucker is an NBA writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JeremyR327.