Derrick Rose apologizes to Cavs teammates for self-imposed two-week absence

When the frustrations over repeated injuries reportedly became too much for Derrick Rose, he left the Cleveland Cavaliers to take some personal time to contemplate his basketball future.

Apparently, the conclusion was to keep playing as he returned to the Cavs on Wednesday after his self-imposed two-week exile. Rose's absence was excused by the team, but he still felt it was necessary to apologize to his teammates for abandoning them.

"He didn't have to, but he did," Cavs coach Tyronn Lue said of Rose's message to the team, via ESPN. "He asked me could he talk to the team before we started shootaround and addressed the team. Everyone welcomed him back and is happy he is here, and that's it.

"It was just good to have him back and hear him talk, because he's not a big talker. You know he's a quiet guy. But just hearing what he had to say and then just seeing how everyone was welcoming him back and was happy he's here."  

Rose, who has been sidelined for most of the season with an ankle injury, has played in only seven of the team's 25 games. The Cavs have ripped off 13 straight wins without him, so there's clearly no rush to get him back into the lineup.

While on the court, Rose has averaged 14.3 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.7 assists in in 27 minutes per game. With Jose Calderon filling in nicely as the starter, Isaiah Thomas reportedly eyeing a late-December comeback and Dwyane Wade playing well as a backup, Rose could conceivably be relegated to third, or even fourth point guard when he's fully healthy.

It's a long season, however, and with Thomas' injury history and the collective age of Wade and Calderon, minutes will likely open up as the year progresses. Whether Rose will have any significant impact on the Cavs' anticipated playoff run, though, remains to be seen.

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