While Chicago Bulls superstar Derrick Rose has reportedly been medically cleared to return from an ACL injury, there are still several road blocks keeping him off the court. Rose revealed one of those hurdles to ESPN's Doris Burke before Sunday's 90-81 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, saying that his hamstrings are "on fire" after workouts and that he won't come back until those issues are gone.
This revelation comes shortly after a report published by ESPN Chicago on Friday stated that Rose had been cleared by doctors, but was hesitant to return to the court because he's still not comfortable dunking off his left foot. That came about a week after TNT's David Aldridge reported that Rose was still feeling some discomfort in his knee when moving to his right.
It has been nearly 10 months since Rose went under the knife to repair his knee, and some are getting antsy about his return. The Bulls have long said that their superstar would return when he was ready, but there's a belief that the news of Rose being medically cleared was leaked to ESPN Chicago on purpose in order to put pressure on Rose to return. And one could certainly view Rose's comments to Burke as a direct response to that.
The entire Rose saga has been rather bizarre, starting with the Adidas commercials that glorified his return to the court. The superstar has been kept mostly off-limits to the media during his rehab, and with the Bulls providing mostly vague updates, there has been a lot of speculation about what's really going on. Thanks in part to some recent events, including brother Reggie Rose's comments lashing out against the organization, some fear a rift between the Rose camp and the Bulls.
It's probably too early to worry about that kind of stuff, but if Rose sits out the season, things could get ugly. Since he has been medically cleared to play, some fans would likely turn on Rose for sitting out. A summer of further speculation certainly would not help matters either.
But we are not at that point yet.