Derrick Rose is looking to comeback in the 2014-2015 NBA season, after playing just 10 games in the last two years because of knee injuries. While the point guard has looked like his old self with USA Basketball, his road to recovery hasn’t been without any issues.
The Chicago Bulls star didn’t play in the contest between the U.S. and the Dominican Republic at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday. The day before, Rose sat out of practice for a second straight day to rest his knees. Despite his recent injury history, Rose and USA basketball have made it known that they are not concerned about the 25-year-old’s health.
"Just trying to protect myself, just knowing that this is a long, long schedule and this is the most basketball I'll be playing in two years," Rose said after the U.S. beat the Dominican Republic, 105-62. "So I'm just going in, trying to gear up, making sure that I'm healthy."
Rose assured reporters his knees are nothing to worry about. He’s stated that he feels good and will be ready to play on Friday against Puerto Rico in another exhibition game, as the team prepares for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup. Still, questions remain about his status going forward.
According to ESPNChicago.com’s Nick Friedell, Rose started to feel soreness in his knees on Saturday, when Team USA played Brazil in an exhibition in Chicago. It’s unknown if the soreness is related to his past injuries, but any pain could be a cause for concern. Rose tore the ACL in his left knee in the 2012 NBA Playoffs, and was forced to underdog surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his right knee last year.
Since training camp, the USA Basketball team has not limited Rose because of his past knee issues. Last month, USA coach Mike Krzyzewski was asked by Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports if the team would impose any restrictions on Rose.
"No. No. None at all. Again, he hasn't played against this competition [in a while]. We have to watch that. But no. He says he's ready to go.”
There’s a good chance Rose is fine and just experiencing general knee soreness. Overworking his knee following meniscus surgery could have ill effects, as it did to Gilbert Arena in 2007, when he was forced to follow up his surgery with even more procedures. However, Rose was cleared to play with Team USA and doesn’t seem too worried about the latest development.
"I'm feeling good," Rose said Thursday. "I'll give it a go tomorrow and see how it goes and just try to stay positive.''