AL HAMNIK: Derrick Rose timetable still up in the air for Bulls

2012-10-01T18:45:00Z 2012-10-03T20:04:14Z AL HAMNIK: Derrick Rose timetable still up in the air for BullsAl Hamnik Times Columnist nwitimes.com
October 01, 2012 6:45 pm  • 

The nose-diving White Sox went from three games up to three down in just 12 days. Nah, Nah, Hey, Hey, Hey, Goodbye.

To avoid losing 100 games, the Cubs must sweep an Astros team that began Monday's series with 106 losses.

There is no NHL because of labor issues.

As for the Bears, we'll get back to them after Monday night's game with the Cowboys.

And the Bulls, who've teased us with their NBA title hopes the last two years, are waiting for the surgically repaired ACL of superstar Derrick Rose to fully heal. No one knows when he'll return this season, if at all.

A big reason for the large turnout at Monday's Bulls Media Day was to check out Rose in person, to hear about his rehab and his progress from that nasty tear last April.

Without him, this is a slightly above average NBA team. With Rose back and 100 percent healthy, you can talk playoffs, but no one in the organization, himself included, will dare give a target date.

"Every week I'm improving; just trying to stay patient, take my time and hopefully be back soon," Rose said.

Many believe Rose won't take the floor until sometime in late February, when the league playoff picture is much clearer.

"We'll give periodic updates, but not daily," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "We don't want distractions. The focus of our team will be on opponents."

Rose is doing his rehab at the Berto Center so teammates can see first-hand the progress he's making, and he'll accompany them on short road trips to provide any leadership he can.

"I'm surprising some of them, too," he said. "When I walk around, they're surprised how well I'm walking. I'm staying positive. I'm stress free. My health is OK and no one should be worried."

But they are worried, while aware no two ACL injuries are the same. Look how fast the Vikings' Adrian Peterson has recovered, how effective he's been this season.

"I'm speechless, man, just to see how many people care about me and are praying for me," Rose said.

Watching him stroll smoothly across the Berto Center training facility was encouraging, I admit. There was no limp, no favoring the left knee. He was able to bend, to stop and go, without any hesitancy.

"I don't want to let anyone down," Rose said, adding he must prove that he's ready to coaches, doctors and Bulls brass.

"I'm about two weeks away from where I'm starting to cut. Cutting is the hardest thing in the world right now to do. I'm scared of it. When I get that out of my system, I think I'll be pretty close."

Rose has no idea if his explosiveness will return on drives to the basket or in the open court, or his ability to leap over defenders in the paint, or elevate on 3-pointers.

But there is one thing he's dead sure of.

"I'm going to be a better player, but who knows in what area," he said. "My legs have never been this strong before. My upper body has never been this strong before. My core has never been this strong before.

"I'm going to see how far this takes me. I just know it's going to be exciting for everyone to see."

But the question still stands: When?

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at al.hamnik@nwi.com

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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