While Derrick Rose was never expected to return before the All-Star break, his return to practice has many Bulls fans expecting that their MVP will soon be back in action. After all, Iman Shumpert, who suffered a similar ACL injury in the first game of last season's playoffs, returned for the Knicks in mid-January.
However, in an interview with USA Today, Rose downplayed the prospects of an immediate return:
"I don't have a set date," Rose told USA TODAY Sports on Monday in his first extensive interview since the 2012-13 NBA season began. "I'm not coming back until I'm 110%. Who knows when that can be? It can be within a couple of weeks. It could be next year. It could be any day. It could be any time. It's just that I'm not coming back until I'm ready."
For more reaction on the interview from a Chicago perspective, check out Blog A Bull, SB Nation's aptly titled Bulls blog.
Chicago has scraped together a respectable 30-21 record through the first half of the season, but they're unlikely to make much noise in the playoffs without a fully healthy Rose. However, the long-term health of his knee is more important than any one season, especially considering that he's still only 24 years old.