Derrick Rose is officially listed as out for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinal against the Miami Heat, but the Chicago Bulls guard said it might not remain that way.
Still recovering from a torn ACL he suffered in April of last year, Rose has been working toward a return and dropping hints that he might be back this year. While many NBA commentators have ruled this out as a bit of gamesmanship from the former NBA MVP, Rose continues to add a bit of optimism to reports of his health.
Rose said his status for the series is “still up in the air,” adding that there is a chance he could return.
Former Chicago Bull sharpshooter and current TNT analyst Steve Kerr said last week that if Rose is healthy, he owes it to his teammates to play.
“Everybody has their own opinion,” Rose said in response. “The key words that he said is, ‘if I’m ready.’ Right now, I’m not ready so I’m just trying to take my time and just really, really be smart.”
Derrick Rose has actually been cleared to play for two months and playing in 5-on-5 practices since February. But he said he’s not confident yet in his body.
“It’s definitely hard but I know that this will be over with pretty soon. Who knows when it’s going to stop but I can’t just get down on myself,” Rose said Monday.
The Bulls could certainly use Derrick Rose. They were able to pull out Game 7 against the Brooklyn Nets shorthanded, but come into the series missing Luol Deng and a hobbled Kirk Heinrich.
The Miami Heat are preparing as if Derrick Rose will come back.
“We have to prepare for the awareness that he could possibly come back,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Sunday. “That’s all the thought we’re giving it. If he does [return in the series], we’ll try to be as aggressive as we normally are.”
Chris Bosh wasn’t so confident, however. He said he would be “surprised” to see Derrick Rose on the court during the series.