Deng: Rose has to be one to decide return

Luol Deng can relate a bit to what Derrick Rose is going through. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

BOSTON -- Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng said Wednesday that Derrick Rose has to be the one to make the decision on when to return from a knee injury.

"You just got to let him decide," Deng said. "I think that he knows his body better than anybody. I think everyone wants to see him back and sometimes when you do that you got to think of the positive and the negative, where we're at as a team, how he's feeling.

"But for me, (as) someone who's been through injuries, obviously not an ACL, but with my tibia, I felt like you got to really make a decision for yourself and how you feel. Not so much what everyone is pressuring you (to do) and what everyone is saying."

Deng went through a similar situation four years ago when he had a stress fracture in his leg that he believed was too painful to play on. The Bulls, after examination by their medical staff, believed Deng should be back on the floor.

Now Rose could potentially be headed on the same path with the way recovery from his torn ACL is unfolding. Originally given a timetable of 8-12 months to return after May knee surgery, Rose was believed to be on track for a return at some point after this weekend's All-Star break.

But Rose told USA Today on Monday that he wouldn't return until he was "110 percent" -- even if that meant missing this season -- and gauged his status as being in the "high 80s." Rose declined comment to reporters through Bulls public relations staff on Wednesday morning.

Bulls center Joakim Noah said he never considered the possibility that Rose may be out for the season but he also wants his friend to return when he feels comfortable.

"I think he'll be back when he's ready," Noah said. "Whenever that is."

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau maintained Tuesday that there is no timetable for Rose's return.

"If he's ready," Thibodeau said. "It's why we've taken the approach that we have. There's no timetable. It's when he's ready. We're not measuring it against someone else's timetable. It's just, 'This is Derrick' when he's ready he will go.

"He's right where he should be. He's right on the schedule. When he's ready, we'll know and we'll go from there. That's why we've approached it the way we have. The team has to concentrate on their improvement and their next opponent. He has to do his rehab and then at some point he'll rejoin us and we'll go from there but nothing has changed."