In a recent USA Today interview, Derrick Rose talks about his timeline to return and much more, saying he won't come back until he's 110% and is maybe in the high 80s now, but is far away from return. This throws some cold water on my thoughts of him coming back immediately following the all-star break.
"I don't have a set date," Rose told USA TODAY Sports on Monday in his first extensive interview since the 2012-13 NBA season began. "I'm not coming back until I'm 110%. Who knows when that can be? It can be within a couple of weeks. It could be next year. It could be any day. It could be any time. It's just that I'm not coming back until I'm ready."
How close is Rose to 110%?
"Right now, probably in the high 80s," he said. "Far away. Far away."
This shouldn't come as a big surprise. His thoughts echo what management has said for awhile, and it's been quietly leaked to the press that March is more likely than February based on comments by K.C. Johnson. The thought has come up that Rose is unhappy with the roster construction and is taking extra long in recovery to make sure he doesn't take on too much of a burden when he returns.
While I certainly understand why Derrick may not be amped up about the roster moves this summer, the team has performed at a nice clip in his absence and is positioned well for the playoffs. I don't think there's any dire urgency to get him back in order to make a push for anything. The Bulls playoff seed isn't nearly as important as simply getting everyone healthy.
That said, we've seen other PGs return from ACL injuries faster than Rose recently and both had more damage in their knees than Derrick. That raises the question if Rose isn't delaying his return out of unhappiness (and really I don't think he is), is there something wrong with Derrick Rose?
Rose is certainly in the bounds of a normal recovery time for an ACL injury, there's no doubt about that. However, young people, especially elite athletes, tend to recovery at the very earliest end of that marker. The idea that Rose might take 10 months instead of 8 or 9 isn't crazy, but when we start talking about missing the season that points to something unusual.
If that's the case, the Bulls best case scenario might be that Rose has a beef with management, because if his leg legitimately isn't strong enough to return this season than the odds of the Bulls ever seeing the MVP caliber Rose again seem awfully small. The recovery time range for these surgeries is always fairly conservative by doctors in order to cover their ass, and Rose hitting the end of the range implies his body isn't building tissue like a typical person of his age, let alone his elite athleticism.
So while there's nothing to be concerned about just yet, if we don't see Derrick Rose in March, it's time to wonder what's going on. Is it physical [leg not healing properly], mental [Rose simply not trusting the leg], or emotional [Rose pissed at management]. Regardless of the answer, it wouldn't be a good situation. That said, my money is on Rose returning within a month and not having to worry about it.