Rose making progress and increasing activity


Mar 24

Though Derrick Rose missed his sixth straight game on Saturday night, the NBA’s reigning MVP said he’s making progress and is pleased with how the Bulls are playing in his absence.

“I can walk kind of normal,” said Rose, who has been sidelined with a sore right groin. “I’m just taking my time. It’s my first time having a groin injury, but it’s improving every day. Hopefully I’ll be out there pretty soon.”

Rose suffered the injury in the first half of Chicago’s win over the New York Knicks on March 12. Since then, he’s improved significantly.

“It’s way better,” said Rose. “My groin was actually bleeding, but now it’s healed and it’s just scar tissue. It’s pretty hard to get that to move around and it’s going to take a little time.”

Rose was on the United Center floor prior to Saturday’s game, but took set shots only with no other movement.

He said that there is no set timeframe for when he might return.

“You really don’t know how long a groin injury is going to take,” said Rose. “Usually people recover soon, but you have some times where it can take a little time. In my case, it’s taken quite a bit of time. All I can do is stay positive, cheer on my teammates, and try to do well.”

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said that the next step for Rose would be to complete a team practice, more or less a prerequisite of his before a player can return for a game.

“He’s doing more running now and he’s doing the shooting, just going step-by-step,” said Thibodeau. “In Derrick’s case, we want to make sure he’s completely healthy before we move forward.”

While it’s been a frustrating stretch for Rose, it’s been comforting to see his team enjoy success without him. Following Saturday’s win over the Raptors, the Bulls are now 12-4 without him in the lineup on the season.

“It’s hard, but at the same time, I’m happy that they’re playing great,” said Rose. “We’re winning games. Of course I want to be out there. I hate being injured. But right now, we’re in a good groove.

“They’re playing with a lot of confidence,” added Rose of his teammates. “They’re passing the ball well and our defense is up there. We’re finding ways to win and that’s very important for our team.”

Rose’s Simeon claims record sixth state title

Rose’s high school, Simeon Career Academy, set an Illinois record with its sixth state championship last Saturday in Peoria. While the Bulls’ win over 76ers prevented him from watching all of the game, he did see part of the historic victory over previously unbeaten Proviso East for the 4A title.

“I’m just happy that they won the game,” said Rose, who led the Wolverines to back-to-back championships in 2006 and 2007. “They played great against a tough team, a smaller team that trapped the whole game. I’m just happy for Coach [Robert] Smith and the program.”

Rose has not yet talked to Smith or any of the Simeon players, but it’s likely he’ll be in touch with 6-foot-8 junior Jabari Parker, who on Saturday became the first non-senior to be named Mr. Basketball of Illinois in the award’s 32-year history.

Parker surpassed Rose by winning a third consecutive championship—with another season yet to go—but Rose doesn’t expect him to rub it in.

“He’s humble, so I know he’s not going to say anything,” said Rose, who earned Mr. Basketball honors in 2007. “If anything, I’m happy for not only him, but all those players.”

Speaking of Smith, this past week he expressed his interest in the head coaching vacancy at the University of Illinois. Rose had not heard any talk about Smith as a potential candidate, but he did ponder the possibility.

“It would be great if he could get it and Jabari could go there,” said Rose. “But I don’t know. I don’t have a say so on that stuff.”

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