Derrick Rose is getting closer to making his return to the court. The point guard has not given a timetable for when he will be back on the court from his torn ACL, but the exciting point guard has shown signs he is near full strength.
On Sunday, the former MVP performed a dunk before the Bulls game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. It’s the latest in Rose’s progression on the road to being completely healthy, which is when Rose says he will make his return.
For much of the season, the Bulls had performed well without their starting point guard. Lately, though, they have struggled to win games. Chicago has lost six of its last 10, and fallen to sixth place in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls aren’t in danger of missing the playoffs, but could be forced to play one of the top seeds in the first round.
Tom Thibodeau doesn’t want to insert Rose into the lineup until he’s 100 percent. The head coach says the team will have to make do without Rose, as he recovers from his injury.
"We knew going in what the circumstances were going to be this year,” said Thibodeau. “We had no idea (about Rose's return). There was no timetable. There was no date where we were saying, ‘OK, he’s going to be back this date.’ It’s when he’s ready. We knew that going in.”
The question still remains how well Rose will be able to play when he gets back. He tore his ACL less than a year ago, and most athletes take two years to fully recover from the surgery.
Iman Shumpert returned from the same injury in January. The New York Knicks guard has yet to match the performance of his rookie season. He’s shooting less than 30 percent from the field and hasn’t been the defender that he was in 2012.
Chicago has managed to win games without Rose, staying above .500 this entire season and even performing well last year when the 24-year-old battled injuries. When Rose went down in last year’s playoffs, however, the Bulls lost to the eighth-seed Philadelphia 76ers in the first round.
The Bulls have 22 games left on their schedule. Rose has seven weeks until the start of the postseason.
Below is the video of Rose's pregame dunk.