Throughout the process that has been Derrick Rose's rehab, I (and most others) have been under the assumption that he would return sometime this year with some sort of strict minutes limit to start. I shrugged off Rose's seemingly silly 110% comments, because it's often a slow road getting back to greatness after ACL surgery, even after beginning to play in games.
Which is why this latest report from Hoopsworld's Steve Kyler seems rather strange:
Early in the process, a Bulls' insider pointed to the manner in which Derrick plays as the problem for a speedy return, suggesting that Rose plays at one speed and in order for him to be effective he'd have to be able to play with no limitations and the Bulls have been working to that goal.
The one thing the Bulls did not want is to put a minute restriction or some kind of play limitations on Derrick, knowing that if he had those concepts in his head he would be far less effective. The Bulls want to be able to put Derrick on the floor and let him ‘be Derrick' and to achieve that, Rose has to be confident in his own body.
This not only seems to fly in the face of much of what we've heard thus far, but would completely go against the idea that the recent ESPN Chicago report was a way for the Bulls to pressure Rose into coming back as soon as possible.
I followed up with Kyler on Twitter, and he was pretty adamant that this has been the Bulls' stance the entire time. That it's not just Rose that wants to be "Rose," but it's the Bulls who also want Rose to be "Rose." And from what I gathered, one of Kyler's ultimate points was that while Rose wouldn't necessarily be thrown out there for 40 minutes in his first game back, he COULD be and not have any troubles. Although knowing the head coach, if Rose were able to go 40, he would probably go 40.
This also goes against what seems to be the preferred rehab method for these injuries (as stated by Dr. Brian Cole), as I thought most players coming back from this type of thing face limitations when they start off in order to get acclimated again. I could be certainly wrong of course. If this truly is the way the Bulls are going about it, I'd say there's very little chance Rose plays this year, because I can't imagine him being 100% in the next few weeks. And while I guess taking this approach is fine, it seems somewhat unrealistic to expect him all the way back right when he returns.
Personally, I still think he comes back this year, although I wouldn't be shocked one bit if he didn't.