After sitting out for almost a year, Derrick Rose has finally been cleared to play in an NBA game.
Chicago Bulls doctors have given the point guard the go ahead to rejoin the team’s lineup, according to ESPN Chicago. However, the report states that Rose won’t be taking the court just yet.
A source tells ESPN that Rose has told the Bulls he won’t participate in an official game, until he can dunk off his left foot with confidence. The former MVP tore the ACL in his left knee in the 2012 playoffs, and has been seen dunking off of each foot, recently. Still, Rose isn’t confident in his ability to go at full speed.
There is no guarantee that Rose will play this season. He’s stated that he won’t play unless he’s “110 percent healthy” and Chicago is not pressuring him to return. The club, though, believes he won’t be on the bench for long. The Bulls think there’s a good chance Rose will take the court before the postseason, perhaps in the middle of March.
Rose underwent surgery on May 12. The projected recovery time from the injury was between eight and 12 months.
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In February, Rose discussed the possibility of not playing until the 2013-2014 season. Since then, he’s made significant progress towards making a return. He’s taken part in full-contact five-on-five scrimmages for a few weeks, and joined the Bull bench, during games, on March 3.
In December 2011, Chicago signed Rose to a five-year contract extension worth $94 million. Head coach Tom Thibodeau has stressed that he doesn’t want to play Rose until his star feels that he is completely ready.
Iman Shumpert suffered the same injury in last year’s playoffs. The New York Knicks point guard came back in January, but hasn’t performed like he did before tearing his ACL.
The Bulls have remained in the playoff race without Rose, winning 34 of their first 61 games. As the No.6 seed though, they likely won't compete for a title without their best player.