Rose Shows Signs of Progress, But Still Long Ways Away

With the preseason underway and the season almost here, the Chicago Bulls are poised for a long run without Derrick Rose. While a lot of focus the past couple weeks has been on this new-look Bulls team, that leaves many of us wondering what’s been going on with Rose lately.

There’s been his Adidas ad campaign running for a month or so, and it’s actually been pretty interesting. Seeing the injury happen from the fan’s perspective was an interesting way to kick off the ad, with everyone freezing in time as soon as he went down. But the really awesome part is seeing Rose prepare for his return, as he diligently get his body in shape, running, lifting, weights, etc. There’s a YouTube campaign to it as well, where Rose actually explains the whole concept, giving commentary to the fans who anxiously await his eventual return.

Then, Rose took part in the Bulls’ own ad campaign for the season. Face it, even if he does miss half the season, there’s no way you can’t market Rose, injury or not. Recently however, there’s been a mixture of good and bad news coming through the pipeline, and it’s becoming really hard to decipher what the real deal is here.

First, the good news on our beloved star. Before Tuesday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Rose actually took the floor… during the pre-game shoot-around. But nonetheless, he was out there with his teammates, getting some shots in and having some fun. This way surpassed my expectations for Rose. In no way did I think we would see him during a shoot-around of any sort until at the very earliest a month into the season.

Unfortunately, the organization, including coach Tom Thibodeau, is staying mum on the issue of Rose’s return. While Rose has been doing some jump shots on his own time since last month, sharing the floor with the active roster seems like a big step, and I would think it would even give a confidence boost to the team. With their season up in the air, knowing that Rose is perhaps a little bit closer to a return could spark something as this new lineup tries to find its spark. But remember, with no time table yet, we can only hope. So while that may be the good news, there always seems to be something negative floating around, waiting in the wings.

Rose has dropped some hints, and shown considerable concern, in his ability to get back on the court at all this season. In interviews with NBA TV and ESPN Chicago, Rose has mentioned how he’s scared the rehab, “hopefully… doesn’t take the whole year.” His explosiveness to the center lane is the main thing that makes Rose so effective. He has his own concerns about getting that ability back, and it seems he and the team don’t want to put him back until he’s regained that ability. Maybe it’s just Rose’s own fears getting the best of him. Now that the season is right on the horizon, it might seem like the clock is running against him and he may not have enough time to reach his goals. Lest he forget, he’s also in his mid-20’s. If anyone is going to recover from this injury, it’d be him.

So what’s the verdict as of right now? Frankly, hope is all we have. I have a feeling this closed-door policy the organization is putting on will continue throughout the season, kind of the same way hockey injuries are kept quiet. What we as fans have to wait for is the moment when something leaks to the media.

Personally, I’m confident in seeing Rose return to the court this year. Seeing the commercials, watching him on the court and even reading the interviews where his tenacious rehab effort is being documented is enough to make my hopes get high. If Rose is the superstar we know, there’s no way he will let this impact his career in a negative way. With any luck, one day we’ll be able to compare it to Michael Jordan‘s lost sophomore season… and we all know how well his story ends.

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