By K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune –
Roughly four months after doctors repaired the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, Derrick Rose said he started jumping “a couple of days ago” and remains encouraged by his rehabilitation process.
“Recovery has been good,” Rose said Thursday at a promotional event for Adidas. “I’m rehabbing five times a week. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we do lower and upper body and bike workouts. I’m starting to shoot now. I’m starting to jump a little. I’m seeing improvement every week.
“My leg does get sore sometimes, but I’m able to fight through it. My trainers are making sure I’m doing a great job telling them what’s going on so they can treat me right.”
After he performed the May 12 surgery, Bulls physician Brian Cole said Rose would be sidelined eight to 12 months.
Looking fit and relaxed, Rose smiled often as highlights of his gravity-defying and jaw-dropping moves were played. Then came stories of his latest shoe model and new apparel line, set for an Oct. 4 launch with a family-based logo.
But when attention shifted to Rose’s April 28 injury and rehab, the moment overwhelmed Rose, who hung his head in his hands. He took nearly 30 seconds to try to compose himself, using a tissue handed to him by one of his three brothers, who sat with their mother, Brenda, in the front row.
Finally, through tears, Rose spoke, even referencing the violence that has plagued his Englewood neighborhood again this summer.
“This is truly a blessing,” Rose said. “With all this stuff that’s going on in this city, a kid from Englewood (has) something positive going on. That makes me feel so good. This shoe is great. All this is great.
“But I can’t explain it. … I went through so much and to have true fans, that means a lot to me. And I know it means a lot to (my) family. Because we’re not supposed to be here at all. But God made a way.”
Familiar themes of family and perseverance peppered the event, which featured Rose taking questions from a company executive and “L” trains rumbling by outside. Rose fielded only one shouted question from a reporter, saying he’s “praying” for a swift resolution to the Chicago teachers strike.
Similarly, fans, teammates, coaches and executives can’t wait for Rose’s return. With what he called a stronger core and higher basketball IQ, he vowed to come back better than before.
“My only goal is to win a championship,” Rose said. “Hopefully, it’s soon. I’m going to put my heart into whatever I do on and off the court. The team that we have now, we have a good shot.
“The players that we lost, I’m definitely going to miss them. It’s a business first, and you’re not going to have the same people every year. The players and coaches that we have, we’re just going to have to make do and go out and try to win a championship.”
Layups: Asked in an interview with NBA.com which current players play with the most pride, Hall of Famer Bill Russell offered high praise for Joakim Noah: “A player who doesn’t get much attention and is one of my favorites to watch is Joakim Noah. The Bulls don’t utilize some of his skills. Not only is he a good rebounder but he’s an excellent passer.” … Rose publicly acknowledged for the first time the imminent arrival of his first child. “My mom is my best friend, and it amazes me she has that much heart,” Rose said. “That makes me want to become a better parent when my son comes. I know he’s going to be loved and my family is going to appreciate him. So I just can’t wait.”