CHICAGO (AP) — Derrick Rose isn’t quite ruling out a return to the Chicago Bulls this season.
The superstar point guard left the door slightly open for a comeback in the playoffs if his surgically repaired right knee is healed — even though the team has said he will miss the rest of the year.
Rose suffered a medial meniscus tear in his right knee in a game at Portland on Nov. 22. He had surgery in Chicago three days later, cutting short his long awaited return after he sat out last season recuperating from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
“If I’m healthy and the situation is right, I will be back playing,” Rose said Thursday when asked if he might return for the playoffs. “If I’m healthy and my meniscus is fully healed, of course I’ll be out there playing. But if it’s something totally different and the outcome is not how I would want it to be, there’s no need.”
The 2011 MVP, Rose insisted he can still be an elite player despite his recent injuries.
He tore the ACL in his left knee in 2012 playoff opener against Philadelphia, sending Chicago to a first-round exit. The Bulls relived their nightmare last month in Portland when Rose lost his footing while turning to get back on defense. Rose limped across the court, unable to put any weight on his knee, a huge blow for a team that thought it would challenge Miami in the Eastern Conference.
Rose is in an all-too-familiar spot, trying to recuperate. He has played in just 50 NBA games — 49 in the regular season and that lone playoff game — since the Bulls’ run to the conference finals during his MVP season, and at least some fans are wondering if the organization should move on.
“What can I say to that?” Rose said. Then, after a long pause, he added, “You could be a fool if you want to. I know I’m going to be all right.”
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