Last season, Derrick Rose would not rule out a return to the court following his torn ACL. This year, though, the Chicago Bulls star seems prepared to watch his team from the sidelines.

It has been assumed for months that Rose will miss the rest of the 2013-2014 NBA season, having undergone knee surgery in late November to repair his torn meniscus. At first, the point guard was reluctant to close the door on a return in the playoffs, but now he has all but guaranteed that he won’t suit up any time soon.

"I'm not keeping it open," Rose said at a charity event two weeks ago. "I just said that right now I haven't thought about it. I can't think about it right now when I'm not running yet. When I get off the Alter-G, that's when I can say if I'm coming back or not [this year]."

Rose is finally off the Alter-G, an anti-gravity treadmill, and running on his own. Head coach Tom Thibodeau says his star player is doing different movements, like lateral slides, but still nowhere near ready to practice.

“He’s out for the season,’’ Thibodeau said, via the Chicago Sun-Times. “I don’t know what else you guys want...and again, I think that’s a step-by-step thing. He’s doing great; he’s out for the season. Nothing has changed there.’’

Chicago will almost assuredly make the playoffs. Through 57 games, they are the No.4 seed in the Eastern Conference. Despite their injuries, the Bulls might be expected to reach the second round, considering they could have home-court advantage in their first series. However, the Indiana Pacers or Miami Heat would be heavy favorites in the conference semifinals.

Rose might be done for the season, but the Sun-Times reports that he is ahead of schedule. If he continues on this pace, Rose plans to play for USA Basketball in July.

“Yeah, for sure,” said Rose. "If my leg is feeling healthy and I’m there, I’m all in. Of course, I want to play for that team. Playing for that team helped the year I won MVP, just getting in a groove. So I’m excited if I am able to play in it.’’

This is the third straight year in which Rose an injury has hampered Rose. In the last three seasons, he’s played just 49 total games.