Superstar PG Derrick Rose appears likely to continue sitting out for the Eastern Conference’s No. 5 seed, but the Bulls have wisely not dismissed the possibility that their best player will return for the postseason.
Rose hasn’t played since Chicago’s last postseason opener in 2012 against the Philadelphia 76ers, where he tore his ACL late in a Game 1 blowout victory and missed all 82 games this year.
In spite of that long layoff, teammates are not giving up on their 24-year-old franchise cornerstone.
Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times reported earlier in the week that Joakim Noah has maintained that Rose will take the hardwood throughout the year.
Cowley’s report also logged quotes from head coach Tom Thibodeau, who highlighted the importance of Rose and gave a vague answer as to whether the postseason could be the site of Rose’s return:
It could be…He’s still not ready. We feel good about the guys we do have, and we just want to keep improving and let Derrick handle his rehab and just be ready for whoever we’re facing.
…Whenever he’s ready, we’re going to welcome him back because, obviously, he adds a lot to the team…Again, [Rose is] the type of player that makes everybody better…
Source: Matt Fitzgerald, Bleacher Report