As Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose nears his return from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, the non-timetable timetable remains in place.
Even though Rose is practicing and traveling with the team, there is no specific target date, and the 2010-11 MVP and three-time All-Star is comfortable with that.
After all, he's been patient since the devastating April 28 injury. Rose maintains he won't play until he's ready and not a second sooner.
"I don't have a set date," Rose told USA TODAY Sports on Monday in his first extensive interview since the 2012-13 NBA season began. "I'm not coming back until I'm 110%. Who knows when that can be? It can be within a couple of weeks. It could be next year. It could be any day. It could be any time. It's just that I'm not coming back until I'm ready."
How close is Rose to 110%?
"Right now, probably in the high 80s," he said. "Far away. Far away."
The ambiguity is by design but not with duplicity intended. The Bulls have no reason to target a date. Rose, the humble star, is the face of the franchise and worth the patience.
"Every injury's different. People want to pigeonhole exactly when he returns, and I understand that," Bulls general manager Gar Forman said. "Everybody would like to know. We would like to know the exact date.
"But what we really tried to do was stay true to the process and not skip steps as he went along his rehabilitation. … We wanted to make sure we did what was right for Derrick."
In the meantime, Rose continues to work and contemplates the kind of player he will be when he returns.
"I know it's going to be something good. With all this hard work I've been putting into my game, I'm doing stuff I never did before. I gained 10, 11 pounds of muscle. I don't know what type of player I'm going to be. I just know that I'm going to be very good."
During a wide-ranging discussion, Rose opened up on many topics, including his injury and the impact it had, fatherhood, the bold adidas ad campaign centered on his return and the overwhelming support he has received from Bulls fans. http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports...bulls/1912521/