Derrick Rose injury: Bulls' star reportedly cleared to return, but won't yet

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Derrick Rose has been cleared to return by his doctor, but he reportedly isn't quite ready to get back on the floor.

The doctor for Derrick Rose has cleared the Bulls' star point guard to play, but Rose will hold off on making his return until he feels more confident about the health of his left knee, according to a report from Melissa Isaacson of ESPN. The former league MVP tore the ACL in his left knee during the playoffs last season, and after surgery on May 12 he's been working hard to rehab and get back on the court. The team reportedly "is not pressuring Rose," but a mid-March return is still the internal goal.

It has been nearly 10 months since Rose had surgery on his knee, but he still wants to feel confident enough to dunk while jumping off his left foot. His knee may never feel exactly the same, but he still hasn't made enough progress to re-calibrate what a healthy knee should feel like post-surgery. At Blog-a-Bull, they note that Rose's "110 percent" comments make sense now:

Playing with pain is very much part of the process -- something Ricky Rubio and Iman Shumpert both went through -- and there's certainly some sentiment that Rose is being more cautious than either with his return. We've all been making "110 percent" jokes for weeks, but it does now appear that wasn't simply 'Rose-speak' and rather a glimpse into what the star is really thinking.

...

"Process" is the Bulls' go-to buzzword, and this entire ordeal with Rose surely has been one. Just in the last week, Rose made his return to the Chicago bench, only to be followed by multiple beat writers predicting Rose wouldn't return at all this season. This would appear to be another step signaling Rose's return will come in a week or two, but as with every twist in this story, it's impossible to know what anything means.

The Bulls are 34-27 and they hold the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference.

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