The Chicago Bulls are reportedly expecting point guard Derrick Rose to make his return in the lineup in the postseason, a source close to situation disclosed on Friday.
Rose, who suffered an MCL injury 10 games after returning from an ACL injury, is now recovering way ahead of schedule and perhaps could make a surprised return just in time for the playoffs, according to Daily News writer Mitch Lawrence.
"It's no joke - the Bulls really are expecting Derrick Rose to make it back from his latest knee injury in time for the playoffs," the NBA insider stated.
The former NBA MVP underwent surgery on Nov 25 to repair a tear in his MCL. Over the past couple of months, Rose made a significant progress in his rehabilitation, as he's now doing light drills at the Bulls training facility.
Rose' return in the lineup in the postseason would be a big boost for the Bulls, who have emerged as a serious contender in the Eastern Conference despite dealing with injuries and the trade of Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers in January.
The improvement of Taj Gibson and the tenacity of Joakim Noah have been the major reasons for the Bulls' rise as a serious threat to Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers. Both players admitted that the possibility of teaming up with Rose in the postseason motivated them to play harder, as they look to contend for the title.
"Me and Joakim talk about it all the time," Gibson told ESPN. "[Noah] says, 'He's working hard, man.' He's like, 'That kid's over there working hard, man. He's trying to get back as soon as possible. Just keep playing, man.' One day when we get him back, it's going to be wonderful.
"We've just got to keep building, keep your eyes on the prize and just keep getting better each and every day. Because he's getting better, and when he comes back we can just keep rolling and just keep building."
The 25-year-old Rose averaged 15.9 points and 4.3 assists per game before he went down with an MCL injury in the game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Nov 22.