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Derrick Rose remains in ‘patience’ mode regarding return

Bulls forward Carlos Boozer applauds Bulls effort as an out bounds ball is awarded Bulls first quarter Chicago Bulls-Miami Hegame

Bulls forward Carlos Boozer applauds the Bulls effort as an out of bounds ball is awarded to the Bulls in the first quarter of the Chicago Bulls-Miami Heat game Wednesday March 27, 2013 at the United Center. | Tom Cruze~Sun-Times

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Updated: March 30, 2013 5:44PM



Derrick Rose had done his best to leave some glimmer of hope that he could return before the 2012-13 season ends. But most of the answers that came out of his mouth on Wednesday afternoon painted a picture of a player willing to shut it down and come out ready to go next fall.

Asked how difficult it has been to watch games, especially with the hated Miami Heat bringing a 27-game winning streak to town, 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 the Heat, and that only gained momentum when rapper Waka Flocka Flame wrote on Twitter on Tuesday evening that Rose would play.

Rose admitted to being a fan of the rapper, but 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 from surgery on his left knee.

“I really don’t know man,’’ Rose said. “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 [the rapper’s tweet]. 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 tried to keep a straight face when asked about the rapper and his announcement of Rose’s return.

“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 be second thoughts about the knee when he takes the court next season.

“Not at all,’’ Rose said. “I know the confidence I have in myself in what type of player I am, so when I step on the court 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. 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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