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Derrick Rose cleared to return, targets mid-March

Derrick Rose has been cleared by doctors to play, but his mindset is still not ready. Source say that the All-Star guard and former MVP of the league has been cleared by team doctors to play, but Rose does not want to play until he know he can dunk the ball of his left foot.

Rose had surgery for a torn anterior cruciate ligament on May 12 of last year on his left knee. He has been working out in practices and even seen dunking off both feet, but not a game speed. Mentally the star guard is not completely ready to compete.

Management, coaches or his teammates are not pressuring Rose. Everyone knows that Rose is the one who must make the decision to play again. However, the Bulls are certain Rose will be back to play this season and are hoping for a mid March debut for Rose, possibly March 15 when the Bulls play at Golden State.

Chicago has played the entire season without Rose and is currently in second place in the Central division five games behind the Indiana Pacers. In the playoff race in the Eastern Conference, the Bulls are in fifth place, but by just a half game over the surging Boston Celtics.

Chicago Head Coach Tom Thibodeau said his guard has been clear to work out completely and compete in games, but before he is able to play, everyone on his medical team, management and the coaches need to meet and sign off as a group.

Sources said team management has been assured by doctors that Rose’s changes of reinjuring his knee is no more than any other player. His body is ready, said doctors, now Rose just needs to trust his body and himself.

Back in mid February, Rose commented in an interview that he would not be upset if he missed the entire season. At the time, he said he did not want anything lingering in his mind about his injury and if he was not ready, he was just sit out the entire season.

However, since that time, Rose has taken part in scrimmages of 5-on-5 at the Bulls practices. In early March, he started to sit on the bench with his fellow teammates.

The Bulls are fighting to stay alive in the Eastern Conference playoff race and are currently experiencing a number of injuries to players such as Taj Gibson, Kirk Hinrich and Richard Hamilton.

The Bulls have a suffocating defense, but their offense has suffered this season and is only scoring 1.1 more points per game than the defense is allowing.

At some point over the next couple of weeks, Rose needs to be fair to himself and most of all his teammates. If he returns too late in the season, he may not have the time to adjust where he can actually help the team any more than what they are already accomplishing without him. His teammates also need time to adjust to his presence in the lineup as well.

A good case in point is Danny Granger of the Pacers. He has had a difficult time adjusting to playing again after he missed the first 55 games of the season due to injury.

For the NBA and its fans, let’s hope Rose returns as quickly as possible.

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