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Derrick Rose talks and sounds like a guy done for the year

Injured Bulls guard Derrick Rose works out before Chicago Bulls host Miami HeWednesday March 27 2013 United Center. | Tom

Injured Bulls guard Derrick Rose works out before the Chicago Bulls host the Miami Heat Wednesday March 27, 2013 at the United Center. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: March 27, 2013 8:05PM



Derrick Rose did his best to try and leave some sort of glimmering hope that he could return from May surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee before the 2012-13 season comes to an end, but most of the answers that came out of his mouth on Wednesday afternoon painted a picture of a guy willing to shut it down and come out ready to go next fall.

Asked how difficult it’s been to watch games this season, especially with the hated Heat in town and going for their 28th-straight win, Rose said, “It’s not hard at all. When you have surgery you’ve got to grow patience. I’ve been patient for the last eight or nine months. I’ve been good.’’

There was a buzz that Rose could return against Miami, and that only gained momentum when rapper Waka Flocka Flame wrote on Twitter Tuesday evening that Rose would play.

While Rose admitted to being a fan of the rapper, he had no recollection of hiring Mr. Flame as a PR man or health consultant. Rose was out, and still had no clue when, and if, he would return.

“I really don’t know man,’’ Rose said of a comeback this season. “Like I said, it’s in God’s hands. Every day I’m just waking up to try and be the best player, try and produce every time I step on the court, just try and get better as a player, and who knows when?

“This is the first time hearing about it. I guess he’s a fan of mine. That’s the only thing I heard about it. I’m happy he’s a fan of mine. I heard a lot of his music too.’’

Rose wasn’t alone in giving Waka Flocka Flame some love. Coach Tom Thibodeau was asked about the rapper and the fact that he announced Rose’s return, and tried to keep a straight face in his response.

“The rapper you’re talking about?’’ Thibodeau said.

When called out on it and told there is no way he had heard of Waka Flocka Flame, Thibodeau smirked, “I hear the guys talking about him.’’

What Thibodeau did say about Rose was the organization was behind the way he’s been handling the rehab. If that means not playing this season, so be it.

“The most important thing for him and us is we want him to be completely healthy,’’ Thibodeau said. “We have to continue to show patience, let him work his way through it, he’s done a great job with his part.

“He’s got a power game built on speed, agility, change of direction, stop and go, so it’s unique. We have to make sure he’s comfortable being out there. He’s close, but he’s not quite there.’’

Rose was asked if he didn’t play the rest of this season, did he feel that there would still be second thoughts about the knee when he does take the court next season.

“Not at all,’’ Rose replied. “I know the confidence I have in myself in what type of player I am, so when I step on the court I think I’m going to be better, I know I’m going to be better, so I’m not worried about that.’’

The hurdle for Rose since he started full-contact practices five weeks ago, has been not dwelling on the injury when he’s out there. He wants to be able to play by just reacting. That’s still not happening.

“When I step on the court I’m going to ball,’’ Rose added. “I’m not going to think about it, I’m just going to be out there reacting, so right now, just taking my time and dealing with the whole situation.

“It’s still the same … still the same.’’



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