Derrick Rose has been sidelined since tearing his ACL in last season's playoffs. (Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)
Derrick Rose provided little hint or expectation of when he's likely to return to action for the Bulls after the team's Thursday shootaround, according to reports.
Although Rose said he's close, he also admitted that he really has no idea when he'll return:
"I just know that I'm close, and I'm taking every day seriously ... It could be tomorrow and I could feel like I could play the next game. Nobody knows but God.”
The 2010-11 NBA Most Valuable Player continues to participate in shooting drills and said he's made improvement, but his knee is not yet what it was before tearing the ACL in his left knee in the first round of last season's playoffs.
“I’m way stronger, but just seeing how I’m going to put that into my game, I don’t know yet, but just trying to—when we’re playing five-on-five—just trying to pick the right spots and really just trying to find out how strong I am,” Rose said about his increased physical strength, which is evident upon seeing him, particularly in the upper body. “[I am doing] everything: core work and just me at home doing sit-ups, whatever. Just working on my body, so when I come back, giving myself the best chance to be a better player.
“[My knee is] still about the same, where when you warm up a little bit it gets loose, then the activity picks up and it gets back sore, so just playing through that,” Rose explained. “Sometimes you kind of think a little bit when I’m out there and that’s how I know when I’ll be ready to play. When I’m not out there thinking; I’ll just be reacting.
“[My explosiveness is] coming. I’m not panicking or anything. If anything, I think I’m going to be a better player. I’m just taking my time, like I said. I’m just being patient, doing all the right things, eating right and getting rest,” he went on to say. “I haven’t done my vertical—I think I lost some height in my vertical last year—so jumping-wise, I shouldn’t have to worry about that.”
Rose appeared to address recent reports that his Bulls teammates were losing patience with his overly cautious approach to his return. He said he has his teammates' full support.
“It’s big, man. When I’ve got my teammates behind me and they see how hard I’m pushing in practice, and I see how hard they’re fighting for me on the court, it makes me want to go harder,” he said. “It makes me want to be out there, too. But you’ve got to look at the big picture.”