The last time Derrick Rose stood on a basketball court, suited and listed on the Chicago Bulls' roster as "active", was April 28th, 2012. It was the Bulls' first playoff game of the season, game one round one, against the Philadelphia 76ers, and with around 90 seconds left in match-up, Rose drove to the basket, coming down clutching his left knee. He was carried off the floor and since then has yet to return.
It was reported that Rose had torn his anterior cruciate ligament (otherwise known as ACL) and would need surgery to repair the problem. The procedure went smoothly, as did the months of physical therapy after the fact, and in time Rose slowly began to participate in modified practices.
We are now coming up on eleven months since the injury, and with the Bulls' biggest star still yet to play in a game this year, it seems as though everyone and their mothers have something to say about the star and his future.
So what do I think? Well in my opinion, there are three possibilities here.
First, and what I believe to be most likely, is that Rose simply doesn't see a point in returning until next season. With the Bulls currently standing sixth in the East and having virtually no chance at the title (as the Miami Heat are holding an impressive 55-14 record and are on a 26-game winning streak) it does seem almost silly for the point guard to get back into routine right now.
But there is also the question of whether or not Rose is scared to step foot on that familiar ground again. There have been plenty of situations in which people, professional athletes or otherwise, become traumatized after a health-scare and in turn feel anxious to get back to the place where it first happened. Obviously even if this is the case, we'll probably never hear about it, but I certainly think its something to keep in mind...especially for those who are downright angry at his "refusal" to play.
And lastly, there is the ever-so-troublesome reality that perhaps Rose's recovery isn't going just as great as his camp is making it out to seem. Now I have seen footage of him dunking, so I'm not saying he's immobile, but maybe that "normal soreness" is more painful than we're being told. In which case risking reinjury by returning too soon shouldn't even be an option.
But regardless of why Rose is still sitting out, one thing is clear: we should all stop looking for answers as to when he'll be back.
When asked just last week about a time table, Rose said, “It could be tomorrow where I feel I can play next game. Nobody knows but God.”
So instead of continuing to waste our time over why, when and what, I suggest we all look forward to what we know for a fact lies ahead; the ever-so-exciting NBA Playoffs.