After Derrick Rose did the USA Today interview, he opened himself up to the local media as well. It was easy to look at his USA Today comments and figure they were generalizations meant to purposefully be vague and offer no real specific information. Thus dismissing the idea that there's something wrong with Rose wasn't particularly difficult. It's much more difficult to look at his comments to the local beat writers and say the same.
Rose left reporters with a bunch of positive and negative quotes. You could almost write an article either way on his return. He's doing 3-3 and 1-1s now, and he's expected to start 5-5s soon. He's working hard getting better, blah blah blah.
Here are the two most meaningful quotes though:
"My leg still isn't feeling right."
"I can't dunk, man. I know if I can dunk off stride, I know I'll be out there playing, but I can't."
The rest of the stuff is sort of generalities, but these two very specific quotes tell you about where Derrick Rose is. Throw this in there with the idea that Rose says he doesn't mind missing the season, and it doesn't look particularly good for our hero.
Management let people run wild with speculation as minor hints were dropped about Rose's recovery that looked far more promising. Tom Thibodeau responded that he wasn't worried at all about Rose losing athleticism because he sees what he's doing in practice everyday.
If you see what he does in practice everyday and that includes a guy who can't dunk in stride then how do you not worry about him losing athleticism? Jimmy Butler discussed seeing Rose flush the ball a few times and that doesn't contradict what Rose said (dunking in stride vs dunking period) it certainly gave off an impression that Rose was further along than he was.
It was noted on Jan 29th that Rose was going full contact, but now it's noted that he hasn't taken any contact to his leg yet and isn't participating in 5 on 5 scrimmages.
The doctor's gave Rose an 8-12 month timeline for recovery. 12 months is clinically normal, but as I said in my post USA Today article, it's not really normal for an elite athlete. It's probably not even normal for a moderate athlete. When you look around the NBA, you see most guys returning from this type of thing closer to the 8 month mark. Derrick's looks likely to make it to 10 months at the very earliest.
10 months still isn't scary, but as I said, if this reaches a year? You have to seriously question whether Rose will ever be the same. Derrick Rose's talks seriously raise questions about whether we'll see Rose at all this season, and if not, the Bulls will have to seriously wonder if they still have an A-list start to build around starting next year.
Hopefully, Rose is simply dealing with the mental fear of instability in his leg, and he'll recovery quickly as soon as he pushes through that barrier and gets into some games. If not, Chicago could have a much bigger problem on their hands.