Derrick Rose addressed the media on Thursday for the first time since undergoing knee surgery, and despite the initial prognosis of a season-ending torn meniscus, Rose said he could envision coming back should the Bulls make the playoffs.
“If I'm healthy, and the situation is right – I'm playing,” he said, adding that he'd only come back if he felt he was ready – a situation not unlike last year's postseason saga.
"If I'm healthy, and my meniscus is fully healed, of course I'll be out there playing, but if it's something totally different and the outcome is not how I would want it to be, there's no need," he said.
Rose tore his right meniscus on Nov. 22 at Portland and had surgery performed by the Bulls team doctor a few days later. After tearing his ACL last year, rehabbing all offseason, and then suffering the latest injury, Rose was asked whether he thought he could return to his explosive form.
Rose believes he'll come back as a better player. "If anything, this should even me out."— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) December 5, 2013
The most pressing question regarding Rose's return from last year's ACL tear was whether he could regain his lightning-quick first step, his calling card as an NBA superstar. In 10 games this season, Rose showed spurts of his former self, but, as expected, his percentages were well below his career averages – a result of missing all of last season.
Rose was adamant on Thursday that despite the two major setbacks, he wasn't going to change his aggressive, slashing style.
Rose says he doesn't think his game will change despite the injury. "That's the way that I play."— Nick Friedell (@NickFriedell) December 5, 2013
More than once on Thursday, Rose reaffirmed that he doesn't think his story as a former league MVP is finished. To his critics who don't think he can recover from two devastating injuries, he said: "You can be a fool if you want to. Dead serious. I know I'm going to be alright. I believe that I'm a special player."