Derrick Rose's (very) long-awaited return to the court could be sooner than later.
"I just know that I'm close, and I'm taking every day seriously," the recovering Bulls superstar told reporters Thursday after a team shoot-around.
Rumors have abounded over whether Rose will sit out the rest of the season and wait until next year or return in the final weeks. So the team hasn’t confirmed a date or even a range of time for the return.
As for Rose, he's taking his time and still trying to be patient.
"I feel like when I'm ready to come back, I'll be ready no matter when it is," Rose said.
So when is it? "It could be tomorrow," he said. "I feel like I could play the next game. Nobody knows but God."
"It's coming," he continued. "I'm not panicking or anything. If anything I think I'll be a better player. I'm just taking my time. I'm just being patient, doing the right things, really eating right and getting rest."
The good news? Rose says he's stronger, though still trying to figure out where and how to funnel that strength. While he's still managing the injury with increased activity, he's constantly working to build himself up.
At this point, he said he doesn't feel like he's running out of time with the schedule and said he's being patient while blocking out the media.
"I'm just trying to stay focused, try not to listen to a lot of people on the outside, and just do my job," he said. "My job is to come in and push hard every day. My trainers have been doing a great job of making sure I'm taking care of that. Just try to get out there as quickly as possible."
As for how he'll know when he's ready, Rose said it's all about reaction.
"Sometimes you kind of think a little bit while you're out there. That's how I know when I'll be ready to play when I'm not out there thinking. I'll just be reacting."