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Schuster: Time Is Running Out For Rose’s Return

Derrick Rose

Derrick Rose (Photo Credit: Getty Images, By: Issac Baldizon)

David Schuster David Schuster
I have been covering the local sports scene for the last 30 years and...
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By David Schuster-

(CBS) If I had a nickel for every time we have asked Tom Thibodeau when Derrick Rose is coming back, I would have a whole lot of nickel (which still doesn’t amount to much).

But the point is we have been asking for about six weeks now and we keep getting the same answer: “When he’s ready.”

I’m at peace with that. In fact, whenever he decides to finally return, he deserves to make that call. It is his body and it is his career.

I wont lie that jadedly I would like to see him on the court as soon as possible just so we can get this story over with and also to (hopefully) enjoy the return of an incredible talent. But if I may add some advice to Rose (and the Bulls), hold off at least for another week or two, and here’s why.

Currently, the Bulls are a mash unit and have basically been playing with a six-man rotation. Hopefully, Taj Gibson, Kirk Hinrich and maybe even Rip Hamilton return shortly to the lineup, but until then, the Bulls are extremely under-manned. It would be unfair for Rose to return until at least Hinrich and Gibson get back on the court because it would put even extra pressure on him to produce right away.

Let some of the other injured players re-acclimate themselves back into the rotation first and then let Rose join them (if he even comes back).

Looking at the calender, the season is shrinking away, but there is still time to get Rose on the court and play a decent amount of games before the playoffs begin. If all else goes well, I’m looking at the game on Easter night vs. Detroit.

We’ve all been led to believe that his first game would be at the United Center (lots of reasons) and then he would still have 10 more games after that to get himself further into shape and gel with his teammates.

I know that Thibodeau has insinuated that Rose could make his return in the playoffs but that’s nonsense and he probably knows it. Rose will be on a minutes limit when he returns and there’s no chance the Bulls would start that scenario in the postseason. So, for me, the deadline is the 31st of March. If he’s not back by then, the sands in the dial will have run out because he needs some playing time in the regular season to be any kind of factor in the playoffs.