Leave D-Rose alone, Bulls fans

March 25, 2013|By Gabe Salgado | For RedEye

Ten months ago, every Bulls fan's worst nightmare came true when Derrick Rose suffered a career-threatening knee injury.

Since then, his progress has been well-documented as he's resumed practicing and was medically cleared to play a few weeks ago.

Despite these developments, some fans are in an uproar over the fact No. 1 has not returned to the lineup.

This is understandable. But I am sending this message to the Bulls faithful. For starters, calm down! Yes, Rose may be ready physically, but perhaps his mental readiness is not up to par.

D-Rose said last week, "Nobody knows but God" when he'll be back. One could guess he is still worried about whether his knee can withstand the wear and tear of an NBA season.

Rose will return when he feels his knee is ready for a full schedule, and not before.

And if Bulls fans are agitated because they feel Rose owes them something, well, that's just not true.

You buy his merchandise, you wear his jersey, you follow him on social media. I'm sure he appreciates that. But I doubt Rose will compromise his long-term health just because you spent money on him.

In reality, he doesn't owe anyone but himself.

Another reason why fans want him back so badly is they think he will lead the Bulls to the promised land this season.

The Bulls have played hard but they will not win the championship in 2013. They don't have the talent right now. They have also dealt with injuries. Rip Hamilton, Taj Gibson, Kirk Hinrich, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah and Luol Deng all have spent time on the trainer's table this year.

The "Bench Mob" no longer exists, either. Add it up and the Bulls have gone 10-14 during February and March.

Entering Wednesday, the Bulls are sixth in the Eastern Conference and seem to be fading fast. All the more reason for Rose to stay glued to the bench.

So I plead with you, Bulls fans, to be patient and understand that Rose will return when the time is right.

Gabe Salgado is a RedEye special contributor.

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