The Return. Those two words pieced together have sparked a debate among all that have an opinion in the city of Chicago. “The Return” was an award winning web-series created by Adidas to document the rehab and progress of Chicago Bulls‘ point guard Derrick Rose from a torn ACL that he suffered in April of 2012. As the 2012-2o13 season has progressed, there has been an increase in the intensity of the debate over The Return.
The debate of The Return features two sides. The two sides of the debate are one that believes that Rose should make his return for the Bulls this season as opposed to waiting for the start of the 2013-2014 season. The other side of the debate is that considering the realistic chances of the Bulls being a legitimate threat in the Eastern Conference playoffs, specifically against the Miami Heat, are slim; the best thing for Rose would be to sit out this season and return fully healthy for the 2013-2014. There certainly is merit to both sides of the debate. By opting to return at the beginning of the 2013-2014, the Bulls and Rose would be ensuring that the point guard is fully recovered from the ACL surgery he had in May of 2012.
There is only one answer to this debate that is the most logical option. That answer is the one that believes Rose should return this season for the Chicago Bulls. There are several reasons why Rose should return this season for the Bulls as opposed to waiting for the beginning of the 2013-2014 season.
First, and foremost, the idea that the Bulls should dictate when Rose should return based on the performance of the other Eastern Conference playoffs team is senseless. Think back to when Rose last played for the Chicago Bulls. The last time Rose played for the Bulls was in game 1 of the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs in 2012. Prior to Rose being injured in the final minutes of the game, there was not one person that honestly thought the Philadelphia 76ers would upset the Bulls in the first round. But, after the injury to Rose and a later injury to Joakim Noah, the 76ers surprised many by defeating the Bulls. Imagine what would happen to the Miami Heat if LeBron James goes down with an injury, the Heat would not be the same feared team. The fact of the matter is you can not operate with the idea that your team does not stand a chance against another team. If so, the the team doubting themselves have already lost before the game even began.
Secondly, Derrick Rose is a basketball player. Each time a basketball player takes the court, they face a risk of suffering an injury–whether that injury be major or minor. The only time that the risk is greater is if the player in question is already dealing with an injury. That is why players need to be medically cleared to play in a basketball game. By being medically cleared, that means a team of trained doctors and trainers believe the player has no greater chance of being injured during a game than a player playing the game with no pre-existing injury. Rose has been medically cleared to return. Meaning, a team of doctors and trainers believe that the next step in his recovery from his ACL injury is return to game action.
Lastly, by not returning this season, Rose and the Bulls would be igniting an off-season that will be filled with many people questioning Rose’s rehab and his desire to play. Rose has already begun to take a public relations hit. While, Rose should not be criticized in his rehab; that will not stop people from doing so. Not to mention, if Rose does not return this season, then the point guard would be faced with the same questions that he is currently faced with.
Those questions relate to whether or not Rose will have a minutes limit when he first returns, and his overall impact when he first returns. By returning this season, Rose eliminates any opportunity for doubt and criticism that is bound to erupt in the off-season if he does not play this season. The last part of the rehab process includes Rose returning game action. Meaning if Rose does not play this season, then his rehab process would continue at the start of the 2013-2014 season since that would be the first opportunity for the point guard to play in a game.
The only way for Rose to truly be ready for the 2013-2014 season and the long-term is for the point guard to return this season for the Bulls.