Rose staying on course with hamstring treatment


Nov 17

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It was terrific Monday to hear Derrick Rose on the right path to a long career.

”Getting better every day,” Rose said about his hamstring injury, which will keep him out of Monday’s game against the Clippers. “Taking my time. (It’s) calming down, not as sore. Trying to listen to my body again and get the most out of every day. The hamstring? I think this is probably the second time I’ve hurt my hamstring. Hamstrings are huge in the process of coming back.

“Especially when you’ve had knee injuries,” Rose added after the team’s morning practice at UCLA. “They (hamstrings) control everything as far as decelerating. Especially with the way I play you need them (to be strong).”

It’s the wise course for the Bulls and Rose as they are avoiding the macho noise in and around the community of playing no matter what. I remember after Rose’s year out following his ACL surgery and all the demands he play asking Phil Jackson, who had his career shortened. JAckson said it would have been foolish for Rose to play less than a year after ACL surgery.

I’ve talked with Grant Hill about this often, and he always talked about his regrets for pushing himself to play too soon after his ankle surgeries and it changing the whole course of his career. Hill again elaborated about that in an interview with Monday. Similarly with players like Anfernee Hardway and Steve Francis. Rose was widely condemned last week after comments about looking long term. But the people in the game know that’s the wise course to take for the player and the team. There always will be critics who care little for the long term welfare of players, and Rose has been getting his initiation.

But of the outpouring of support from fellow players around the NBA other than a few erratic commentators on TNT, Rose said Monday: “I’m in awe that there are people who really care about me. Everything that goes on in my life, the good and the bad, the negative and the positive, I just know I have people in my corner who are there for me. I know they are going to be in my corner, be in my life. So that’s what I try to think about whenever I do hear (negative) things like that.

“Just having family around (is reassuring),” Rose said. “I think I have a small circle. But everyone in my circle is everyone who has been in my life every since I was born, in third grade my close friends. Just happy to have those guys, that feeling knowing I’ll be all right.”

Which is what Rose and the Bulls are focusing on now. They understand this is a season that can be special. But only with a healthy Rose; and not a Rose who is asked to prove some sort of artificial test of manhood. The Heat, for example, is resting Dwyane Wade indefinitely now with a hamstring injury. He missed about three weeks last season with a similar problem.

Rose said he’s encouraged about his play in small doses this season and remains optimistic about the Bulls season as long as they have the proper perspective that the marathon isn’t won in the first mile.

“Every game I felt like I had control of myself as far as me playing the way I wanted to play,” said Rose, who averaged 18 points and 5.4 assists in 28 minutes in his five games around ankle and hamstring problems. “Missing shots is part of it. But I felt like whenever I was out there it wasn’t the type of rust where I looked terrible. I was just missing shots. If anything, I have my confidence knowing (after) being out two years (I’m) able to come back and play (at a high level) with these great athletes. So it gives me confidence every day, every game.

“Just having faith and knowing at the end this process I’m going through now is going to matter,” Rose said about maintaining patience and the right approach. “I think we’re going to have a big year, I think I’m going to have a big year. Just having faith in that. Especially with the team we have now, there’s no need for anyone to play through injuries (that could get worse). Just too bad it’s me. But I’m trying to get back out there as quick as possible.

“I wish it could be tonight because we’re playing against a very good team and I love playing in L.A.,” said Rose. “It’s a hard pill to swallow, but I know I’m not 100 percent and I’ve got to listen to my body.”

His body, and the Bulls are saying, it’s not time. It’s the wise course as so many around the NBA who have ignored it have come to regret.

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