Bulls guard Derrick Rose could soon return to action. (Ron Hoskins/NBA/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose has been cleared to return to action, but won't do so until he can confidently dunk of his left foot, reports ESPN.com.
Rose has been out since he had surgery to repair an anterior cruciate ligament tear in his left knee on May 12. For the past few weeks, Rose has participated in 5-on-5 scrimmages, in hopes of returning to the lineup in the mid-March timeframe. The Bulls have gone 34-27 without him and currently are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings, 1/2 game behind the Atlanta Hawks.
He has been videotaped dunking off each foot, but more casually than he would during a game. A source said that although he has been practicing and scrimmaging hard, he told the Bulls that until he feels "in his mind" he can confidently dunk off his left foot in a game situation, he is not 100 percent mentally ready to return to competition.
"I'm feeling good, but like I said, if it's where it's taking me a long time and I'm still not feeling right, I don't mind missing this year," Rose said last month. "I would love to [return]. I would love to. That's why I approached my rehab and my workout so hard. I'm trying to get back on the court as quickly as possible, but if I have anything lingering on, it's no point."