Derrick Rose gets support from Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau
BY JOE COWLEY email@example.com March 13, 2013 1:24PM
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau would not elaborate on the timetable for guard Derrick Rose's return from knee surgery. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 13, 2013 10:36PM
SACRAMENTO — The questions about Derrick Rose’s will to play this season can now stop, as far as his head coach was concerned.
Tom Thibodeau made that very clear on Wednesday, before the shootaround leading up to tonight’s game with the Kings.
“He handles his part great,’’ Thibodeau responded, when asked if outside criticism about Rose was getting bothersome. “He’s not going to be influenced by anything outside. He knows exactly what he has to do and he’s done that. This is all part of it anytime anyone goes through an injury and we knew it would be a lengthy process to get through this injury. He’s put all the work in, he’s done his part, and all the things he can control he’s controlled. So he’s done a great job with his part.’’
When it was pointed out to Thibodeau that Rose seems very much at peace with the process, no matter if he steps on the court again this season or not, the coach again credited his point guard’s make-up.
“That’s Derrick,’’ Thibodeau said. “He’s done his part great. He’s heeded [chairman Jerry Reinsdorf’s] advice from the beginning. If you guys could recall what Jerry said when he first got injured, he’s done that. He’s handled his part as well as you can handle it. And no one wants to play more than this kid.’’
It was Reinsdorf who came out very quickly after Rose tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last April, and said that Rose would be brought back very slowly.
Two weeks ago, a teammate pointed out that physically Rose was ready and it was just the mental hump that had to be cleared. Rose spoke to reporters on Tuesday, and reiterated that point.
And as far as Thibodeau was concerned, all of this was expected.
“This is fine,’’ Thibodeau said. “We knew it was going to be a long process, and we know that everyone has to be patient and allow Derrick to work through it. He’s been honest and truthful all along. Part of this is he’s working through it. Another part of it is the type of guy that he is. He wants the focus to be on the guys that are out there playing now.
“When he’s active again he’s going to give [the media] access just like he did before. I think everyone has to allow him to work through it. And like I said from the beginning, we have to trust him. I trust him implicitly.’’
One scenario that Thibodeau wouldn’t rule out is Rose waiting for Game 1 of the opening round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, and letting the team know he’s ready.
“Whenever he’s ready,’’ Thibodeau said. “There is no timetable.’’