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Dwight Howard says the Derrick Rose of old will return

Magic center Dwight Howard is called for foul while rejecting shot attempt by Bulls guard Derrick Rose fourth quarter Chicago

Magic center Dwight Howard is called for a foul while rejecting a shot attempt by Bulls guard Derrick Rose in the fourth quarter of the Chicago Bulls 99-94 loss to the Orlando Magic Thursday March 8, 2012 at the United Center. | Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 18, 2013 11:56AM

Houston big man Dwight Howard hasn’t spoken to injured Bulls star Derrick Rose since he had the season-ending surgery on his right knee, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been thinking about him.

“It’s just an unfortunate situation for him,’’ Howard said. “He tried so hard to come back from the one injury and then he got injured again. Injuries are not something that is easy to come back from. It’s mentally draining. If you’re not strong enough to handle being injured, it’s hard. When I hurt my back, just trying to get back into it after five or six months after not being able to do anything, you watch guys play. I know how it feels.’’

Howard said he also felt that it will be the Rose of old when he does return, but he needs to return on his own clock.

“It just takes time. In this age, people don’t want to hear it takes time,’’ Howard said. “They want it now. But injuries for us, we have to make sure with our career that we take our time to get back right. That’s what he should do. He didn’t rush last year. He shouldn’t rush now. They’re going to put a lot of pressure on him to play. Just because you see somebody out there working and jumping and running, that doesn’t mean they’re game ready. There’s a big difference. Hopefully he takes his time and he comes back when he’s ready.’’

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