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Derrick Rose admits to soreness in the knee

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Updated: March 21, 2013 12:40PM



Derrick Rose admitted after the Thursday shootaround that while he might be “close’’ to returning from May surgery to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, there is still no timetable, and an even bigger concern, there is still pain in the knee area.

“Still about the same, where when you warm a little bit it will be loose, then the activity will pick up and then it gets back sore, so just going through that,’’ Rose explained.

And for those that felt like there was a set date in his mind, he also put that assumption to rest.

“Not at all,’’ Rose responded, when asked if he had a day on the calendar circled. “It can be tomorrow if I feel like I can play the next game. Nobody knows but God.’’

While head coach Tom Thibodeau has been stressing that there was no drop-dead date in which the franchise would deem that a Rose return was too late in the game as far as this season was concerned, Rose shared that view.

“Not at all,’’ Rose replied, when asked if he was running out of time. “I feel like when I’m ready to come back I’ll be ready, no matter when it is.

“I’ve got to be patient, just listen to my body. Just be patient.’’

Teammates said last week that a hurdle in Rose’s comeback was his ability to feel the same explosiveness around the rim that made him an MVP after the 2010-11 season. Thibodeau reiterated that on Wednesday, and Rose discussed it after the shootaround.

“It’s coming,’’ he said. “I’m not panicking or anything. If anything I think I’m going to be a better player. Like I said, I’m just being patient and doing all the right things. Really eating right and getting rest.’’

With the hope that Rose 2.0 could be even better?

“Yeah. I’m way stronger, way stronger,’’ he continued. “But just seeing how I’m going to put that into my game, I don’t know yet. When we’re playing five-on-five, just trying to pick the right spots and just really trying to find out how strong I am.’’

As far as an immediate picture, Thibodeau was hoping to have Taj Gibson [sprained left knee] and Kirk Hinrich [stress reaction right foot] back for tonight’s game with Portland. Gibson was more likely than Hinrich, however.

As for Rose, that means more sitting in the locker room as a spectator, doing all he can to make sure he comes back for the right reasons, and not because of the pressure of the playoffs or where the Bulls are in the standings.

“Bad,’’ Rose said of sitting of his feelings on sitting out in this stage of the regular-season playoff push, “but knowing that my health is the biggest key, knowing that I’m only 24 years old, got the whole future in front of me, so just trying to take my time.’’

What is in his favor is that because he has practiced with the team for the last month, his conditioning and ability to just step in and run the point would be as seamless as the team could hope for. His teammates have been raving about how he’s performed in the scrimmages, especially with an improved outside jumpshot from all the extra work he’s put in.

“During five-on-five I think I’m very comfortable when I’m out there playing,’’ Rose said. “If anything it’s much easier because I can shoot the ball way better.’’

The only hang-up?

“Sometimes you think a little bit when you’re one-on-one out there, and that’s how I’ll know that I’m ready to play, when I’m not out there thinking,’’ he added. “I’ll just be out there reacting.’’



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