Bulls point guard Derrick Rose made up his mind earlier in the season that he would not return until next year, according to a report. (Dan Lippitt/Getty Images)
Despite Derrick Rose's statement that his return is "still up in the air," the Chicago Bulls point guard has already decided to sit out for the entire season and will not change his mind, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
Rose's teammates have already accepted privately that the former MVP won't return from his torn ACL, which he suffered during last year's playoffs, and his plan all along has been to come back for next season's training camp, according to the report.
Rose has been cleared to play since mid-February, but has remained ambiguous about when he would be ready to play over the past two months.
From the report:
Who knows? Derrick Rose knows. His choice has been made to sit out the season and it includes no provisions for turning back, sources with direct knowledge told Yahoo! Sports.
Rose isn't creating false hope with coach Tom Thibodeau, nor the rest of his teammates. They've never sat around waiting on him this season, and none of them privately believe that he'll be back before next season. Nevertheless, Chicago fans have started to become more critical of Rose because they hear him publicly say a return is possible and they're holding on to hope.
Rose has believed all along that he should sit out an entire year and come back "freer of doubt" and with "lessened risk of re-injury," the report states.
After winning Game 7 in Brooklyn on Saturday, the Bulls begin their second-round series against the Miami Heat on Monday.
Starters Luol Deng (flu-like symptoms) and Kirk Hinrich (bruised calf) also sat out due to health problems during the first round, while Joakim Noah (plantar fasciitis) and Nate Robinson (flu) played through their ailments.