Derrick Rose isn’t quite ruling out a return to the Chicago Bulls this season.
The superstar point guard left the door slightly open for a comeback in the playoffs if his surgically repaired right knee is healed — even though the team has said he will miss the rest of the year.
Rose suffered a medial meniscus tear in his right knee in a game at Portland on Nov. 22. He had surgery in Chicago three days later, cutting short his long awaited return after he sat out last season recuperating from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
“If I’m healthy and the situation is right, I will be back playing,” Rose said Thursday when asked if he might return for the playoffs. “If I’m healthy and my meniscus is fully healed, of course I’ll be out there playing. But if it’s something totally different and the outcome is not how I would want it to be, there’s no need.”
The 2011 MVP, Rose insisted he can still be an elite player despite his recent injuries. He tore the ACL in his left knee in the 2012 playoff opener, sending top-seeded Chicago to a first-round exit. The Bulls relived their nightmare last month in Portland when Rose lost his footing while turning to get back on defense. Rose limped across the court, unable to put any weight on his knee, a huge blow for a team that thought it would challenge Miami in the Eastern Conference.
Rose is in an all-too-familiar spot, trying to recuperate. He has played in just 50 NBA games — 49 in the regular season and that lone playoff game — since the Bulls’ run to the conference finals during his MVP season, and at least some fans are wondering if the organization should move on.
“What can I say to that?” Rose said. “You could be a fool if you want to. I know I’m going to be all right.”
He insisted he can still be an elite player, and he felt like he was starting to return to form when he went down. He was averaging 15.9 points and was shooting just over 35 percent. But he looked a little better in his final two games with 19 points in a loss at Denver and 20 against Portland.
LOVE HEADS HOME — Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love has left the team to mourn the passing of his maternal grandmother. The team says Love will not practice today. The Wolves next play against the Miami Heat on Saturday night. Love’s status for the game is unknown.
NBA TV ADDS JACKSON — Former NBA executive vice president of operations Stu Jackson is joining NBA TV, providing analysis on rules, discipline and other areas that he oversaw in the league office.
He also will take questions from fans on Twitter and give his insights on NBA.com.
Jackson left his position on Aug. 1 after more than 13 years at the league. He said moving into broadcasting will give him a chance to stay involved.