Derrick Rose updates are mostly pointless at this stage of his rehab, unless of course there was some type of devastating setback. But I honestly can't recall the last time John Paxson actually said a word about Rose's progress, so I figured this was somewhat newsworthy.
"He's made real good progress to this point, but there is still so much ahead of him. We'd be foolish to target any type of date (to return)," Paxson said Tuesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "There's going to have to be a significant amount of time that he spends on the practice floor before we would even entertain him getting into a game."
Yes, it would be foolish right now for management to put a date on it. Leave that to us jamokes. Paxson did divulge some legitimate information though, saying that the next major step in Rose's rehab is cutting:
"The one thing he's got to get to next that's really the big thing is being able to cut, the change of direction off that leg," Paxson said. "He's been close and those are things that he has to get through, but there's no timeline. Those things will happen when his body says OK, it's time for this to happen."
Rose talked on Media Day about how he was afraid to start cutting again, but he also said that day that he was only a couple of weeks away from it. A month has nearly passed since Media Day, so it's the tiniest bit disheartening that he still has not started making those cuts yet. But ultimately, it probably means nothing.
Finally, Paxson talked about the Bulls' minutes strategy when Rose comes back:
"I just can't see us, when that time comes, throwing him out there for 40 minutes a night," Paxson said. "That's my personal feeling . . . It's difficult to commit right now to anything because there are so many unknowns. The one thing we want to make sure we get right is properly getting him back to game action. Whatever steps we have to take in order to do that, we'll do."
I hope Paxson, Gar Forman, Jerry Reinsdorf and whoever the hell else needs to drills this into Tom Thibodeau's head. Thibs played Rose huge minutes several times last year after coming off injury, and the end result was obviously disastrous. Who knows if there was any correlation between this and the ACL injury, but I can't imagine it helped matters.
When Rose comes back, the Bulls should have a set minutes plan that they stick to at all costs. The situations should not matter. So even if the Bulls are in a battle with the Heat that would be perfect for Rose heroics, he shouldn't be on the floor if he exceeds a certain amount of minutes. I don't want to see Rose playing 40 minutes a night unless the Bulls somehow make a deep playoff run. And even then I'd be uneasy about it.