By Cody Westerlund-
(CBS) While Derrick Rose raised doubts Sunday when he told Yahoo Sports that he was unsure if he’ll compete in Team USA’s mini-camp in late July as he continues his recovery from a right medial meniscus tear, Bulls brass expressed optimism Monday that their star guard will be healthy and compete for a spot on the World Cup roster.
“I haven’t had a chance to talk with Derrick (since Sunday’s comments), but all indications have been that he would,” Bulls general manager Gar Forman said Monday at a press conference introducing new draft picks Doug McDermott and Cameron Bairstow. “So we’ll visit with him the next couple days. From a physical standpoint, he’s doing terrific. Like we mentioned the other night, he’s playing five-on-five. He hasn’t skipped any steps, and there’s been progress the whole way. He looks ready to go.”
In his first public comments in months on his return from the November injury, Rose told Yahoo Sports that, “I still don’t know yet” when asked if he’ll join the World Cup team tryouts in Las Vegas, which begin July 28.
“”If I’m feeling right and the time is (right), for sure I will go out there,” Rose told the website. “My body is responding good, but you never know.”
When asked if he was hopeful that Rose would join Team USA, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau responded, “Oh yeah.”
“It’s not anything different that what we’ve said all along,” said Thibodeau, who’s an assistant with the national team. “In terms of, if he’s ready to go, he’s going. He wants to go — that’s what he’s told me, that’s what he’s told USA Basketball. But it’s a step-by-step process, so he’s coming along fine.”
The next step for Rose is to participate in the Bulls’ summer league team practices.
“If that goes well, he’ll go to Team USA,” Thibodeau said.
“From what we’re seeing, he’s making good, steady progress. He looks great.”