To see Derrick Rose running sprints on Monday is enough to make any Bulls fan excited. A number of reports have suggested the Bulls superstar is just weeks away from practicing with the team, seven months removed from surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee.
The timetable for Rose’s return had been set between eight and 12 months, but most felt the year mark would be much more realistic based on the opinion of Dr. Brian Cole, the Bulls team physician who performed Rose’s surgery.
Now that D. Rose has been running and performing cutting movements and drills for a couple of weeks now, it’s safe to assume that him being back on the court is only a matter of time, although no one has set an official return date as of yet.
Once Derrick gets a few full – not limited – practices under his belt, it becomes much easier to gauge where he is physically and from there a reasonable expectation can be established of when he’ll be back. Until then, the Bulls are going to continue to be extra cautious and not try and ramp up his recovery to save what many consider to be a “washed” season anyway.
Still, it’s worth noting that despite the way the team has performed (or underperformed) of late, and the fact they’re just one game above .500, this squad has shown flashes – albeit inconsistent – of being a solid team. Not one that can compete for an NBA Championship, mind you, but a team that has the pieces to be, at the very least, respectable -- especially if they have their leader back on the floor.
One thing about superstars – in any sport, not just basketball – their confidence and talent impacts their teammates. Their performance raises the confidence and level of play of the “supporting cast.” This current Bulls squad lacks leadership, and if D. Rose can somehow get back on the court ahead of schedule, perhaps this season won’t turn out as badly as many expected.