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Derrick Rose refutes reports he won't return until next season

Derrick Rose has been sidelined since tearing an ACL in last season's playoffs. (Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images) Derrick Rose has been sidelined since tearing an ACL in last season's playoffs. (Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose refuted reports that he would prefer to sit out the rest of this season and return from an ACL injury next year, when he wouldn't be subject to a so-called "minutes limit" from the Bulls.

“Oh, no,” Rose said Sunday, when asked if he’d announce he’s sitting out this season, according to The Chicago Tribune. “I’m keeping it open.”

“I wouldn’t mind at all,” he said of a minutes limit. “Of course I want to play more. But it’s not that big. I’m going to play whenever I’m ready. I don’t care if it’s 15 or 40 (minutes). I just love the game too much. Like I said, I’m just waiting and praying about it. And hopefully I’ll be out there soon.”

But the Bulls have only seven regular-season games remaining, including Sunday night's tussle with the Detroit Pistons. They sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings and are currently looking at a potential first-round playoff matchup with the Brooklyn Nets.

Rose tore his ACL last season last April in the Bulls' first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers. He has been participating in drills and shootarounds since late February, but he has approached a return to game action with caution, prompting speculation over whether the team might shut him down for the rest of the season.

In late March, Rose said that "nobody knows but God" when he'll feel 100 percent ready to return.

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