"I'm feeling healthy, man," Rose told Yahoo! Sports afterward. "That's the only thing that matters."
That's certainly great news to hear for Bulls fans, who have been breathlessly awaiting Rose's return from ACL surgery. There has been plenty of speculation about his status in recent weeks, with Rose himself saying that he could possibly sit out the season. But with the superstar now admitting that he's feeling healthy, the only thing really blocking his way at this point is the mental hurdle, which is common for players returning from a torn ACL.
If Rose does return this year, when will it be? After Comcast Sports Net announced that the Bulls' game against the Denver Nuggets on Monday was being moved from CSN-plus to the main station, some immediately jumped to the conclusion that this would be the day for Rose to make his season debut. Several random reports also popped up across the Internet stating that Rose would in fact be coming back on Monday.
"Nothing has changed,'' Thibodeau said of his MVP point guard, who did go through a full practice at the Berto Center. "He keeps improving, he still has a ways to go.''
The "ways to go" line could scare some people, but it could just be Thibodeau being Thibodeau. Rose may come back Monday night, later this week or maybe still not at all this year. We just do not know. The Bulls do have two more home games this week, so Rose will get several chances to practice and test out that surgically repaired knee multiple days in a row.
Whenever Rose does return to the lineup, he will reportedly bring an improved offensive arsenal. Spears says that Rose has been working hard on his three-point shooting during his rehab, as well as adding a left-handed runner to his repertoire. While it's foolish to expect Rose to immediately be the same player he was before the injury, he may just be more dangerous than ever by the time next season rolls around.