On April 28, the star point guard went down with a torn ACL. Since then, he has been working his way back without a set date for a return.
Of course, many expected the Bulls to struggle all year long without the 2011 NBA Most Valuable Player. That has not been the case, as the team has started the year with a 30-21 record.
Led by Luol Deng and Joakim Noah, the team is currently in fourth place in the Eastern Conference and is only five-and-a-half games behind the Miami Heat for first.
As the league heads into the All-Star break, there are two realistic outcomes for the rest of the season for Chicago.
The first is that the Bulls continue the great play and want to rush Rose back in order to make a push for the playoffs and contend for a title.
Alternatively, the team could start to struggle and it will want to rush him back to save the season.
Neither option would be wise for the long-term success of the organization.
Fortunately, the guard has been very smart regarding his return to the court. He told Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:
I don't have a set date. 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.
While fans do not want to hear it, this is the best thing for the team.
After Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings returned from a torn ACL in about eight months and almost broke the rushing record, there is now an unrealistic view of the injury.
In reality, it is much tougher to return in basketball due to the amount of jumping and cutting that is required, especially for a top athlete like Rose. It is important not to rush things and possibly re-injure the knee.
Rose said he will not come back until he is completely healthy. This means that it will not matter if the Bulls have a chance to win a title or if they lose every game from now to the end of the year; the rehab should be independent of all of it.
Only then will the team prove that it is truly doing things the right way.
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