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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Rose says he’ll be better player after injury

Ron Cortes
The Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose is down after he injured his knee in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first-round series at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois, on Saturday April 28, 2012. The Bulls won, 103-91, but Rose's season is over. (Ron Cortes/Philadelphia Inquirer/MCT)

In two weeks, Derrick Rose said he will begin cutting drills, another hurdle in his rehabilitation from surgery to repair the torn left anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Rose said the tedious process has taught him patience, although some of his comments suggested he hasn’t mastered that learning curve.

“I can’t wait to get back on the court to see what I’m going to do,” Rose said. “I don’t know how I’m going to play. I don’t know what’s going to be new about my game. It’s just going to be exciting for everybody to see.

“I’m going to be a better player. My legs have never been this strong before. My upper body has never been this strong before. My core has never been this strong before. I’m going to see where it takes me.”

The organization made clear Rose would be protected from daily questioning about the injury. Rose said he shifted his rehab efforts back to the Berto Center from California when teammates returned in early September for voluntary workouts to demonstrate leadership and ensure them he would be OK.

But Rose won’t travel on all trips once games start, and though progressing well, will be sidelined eight to 12 months from the April 28 injury.

“His games right now are the rehab,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “We’re going to talk about Derrick today. We’re not going to give daily updates as we go forward. I want the focus to be on our team and the opponent. I don’t want our team to be distracted. And I want Derrick’s focus to be on his rehab, where he’s doing great.

“You don’t lose a great player like Derrick without feeling that. But we can overcome that with our collective effort. At some point he will be rejoining the team and we’ll take our shot at the end.

General manager Gar Forman said Rose hasn’t experienced any setbacks while also preaching patience.

“Derrick is going to play only when he’s 100 percent and we feel confident putting him on the floor,” Forman said.

Rose said he’s finally at peace with the injury.

“Mentally I got stronger,” he said. “I think about the beginning of my surgery where I wasn’t able to walk or having someone assist me to the door or car. Seeing myself now, I’m going to be good. I’m not worried about it.”

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