Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau says no deadline on Derrick Rose's return

Rose. (Getty Images)
There's no deadline for Derrick Rose. (Getty Images)

The playoffs begin April 20, so if Bulls star Derrick Rose intends on returning before Chicago's first game, he'd better hustle.

But coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters Thursday there's no deadline for Rose to return.

"[There's] no drop-dead date," Thibodeau said. "Whenever he's ready, he's ready."

It's almost been a full year since Rose tore his left ACL in Game 1 against the Philadelphia 76ers. He's been practicing 5 on 5 for more than a month and has been listed as day-to-day for a while. But Rose has said he's not mentally where he wants to be and insists he won't rush back.

When asked about his timetable in late March, Rose said "nobody knows but God." Rose recently dunked off his surgically repaired left knee in pregame warmups, and looked good doing it.

But he's taking his time and wants to be as ready as possible to contribute as he did when he was healthy. The Bulls only have five games left and sit fifth in the East. They're only a game up in the loss column over Atlanta, though, which could be the difference between playing the Pacers or Nets in the first round.

Thibodeau apparently doesn't feel the need for Rose to play a game or two in the regular season before he comes back. So there's a chance he's saving it up for Game 1 in the postseason. But nobody knows. Except God.

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