As Derrick Rose rehabbed from an ACL injury last season, speculation ran rampant about when he would make his return. He was cleared by the doctors late in the season, so fans had hope that he would swoop in and help a team decimated by injuries make a playoff run. That did not happen, and Rose made his return at the start of this season.
Again, Rose got hurt, this time his meniscus, and he would miss another big chunk of the season. Again, the watch for his return is on.
Just like last season, fans are being teased with images and reports of him at shootarounds and doing non-contact drills. Could he come back this time and help the playoff run?
When Rose was rehabbing last season, there was a communication breakdown between Rose, the Bulls and the fans. Neither Rose nor the Bulls would officially say he was out, so the fans assumed he would be back.
The situation ended up being a public relations nightmare for both the Bulls, who some accused of keeping hope alive to sell tickets, and Rose, who some accused of being scared and soft.
Here we are again dealing with Rose’s injury and his possible comeback. This time around, the Bulls make it official: Rose will not be back this season.
ESPN Chicago’s Nick Friedell announced through Twitter that coach Tom Thibodeau said that Rose is “out for the year. Again.”
Even though that announcement comes as no surprise, as long as nothing is said, hope is still there. If some kind of announcement was made last year, all the negative reactions to Rose not coming back could have been avoided.
Last week, Thibodeau said he would like to see Rose play for Team USA in the World Cup of Basketball in Spain this summer. Thibodeau is an assistant on the team so if Rose does play, his coach would be there to see how he progresses.
If the Bulls make a deep run in the playoffs this season, they will have to do it without their leader…again.
The important matter is that Rose is completely healthy and ready to go. His return is key to turning the Bulls from a nice story of underdogs playing well, to strong title contenders. Let’s hope that we can all look back at this two-year period as just a bump in the road to a great career for Rose.