Thibodeau: Derrick Rose is back, sort of

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau told Jon Greenberg of ESPN Chicago on Friday that Derrick Rose is finally starting to look and feel like his normal self. That comes not a moment too soon considering the Bulls are in the midst of a . . . 

Actually, for Bulls fans it is too little too late for the 2012-13 season.

Rose famously injured his ACL in the first round of the 2012 Playoffs and missed the entire season this year. However, that did not stop him from constantly toying with coming back. By all accounts, and reports from Rose's and the team's doctors, Rose was cleared to play around the All-Star Break. It turned into an interminable waiting game with neither Rose nor the Bulls willing to rule him out for the season even though time increasingly ran shorter and the writing seemed on the wall.

There were reports as late as Game Five of the Eastern Conference Semifinals that Rose was soon to make his debut. That, of course, turned out to be Chicago's final game. Rose missed the entire year and left Bulls fans questioning everything about their franchise point guard after seeing the team pretty much lose a season waiting on him to be "ready."

Chicago stayed patient with him and stayed behind the team's franchise player throughout the season. The Bulls are hoping that it pays off for them ultimately.

Watching the way he's moving now, there's a confidence," Thibodeau said. "[Reporters] may not have been able to see the total work he was putting in. But he was putting in an enormous amount of work each and every day. He just never got to the explosiveness he was comfortable with. I think he's there now. He feels great, and that's the most important thing.

Maybe the decision to sit out the entire year turned out to be a good decision for Rose and his health. Maybe he would have been fine if he had played.

What seems important now is that Rose has rediscovered that bounce in his step. The 2013-14 season seems a short ways away. When coming back from a major injury like this one, the confidence to make the playes you had made before is so key.

It was this aspect which Rose was struggling so much with. The final hurdle he had to overcome. It appears Rose is finally there. Thibodeau has his back still, supporting Rose's decision to wait and praising the honesty and frustration he expressed throughout the season.

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily