Jeff Van Gundy said there should be only one "drop-dead date" after which it would be too late for Derrick Rose to return this season.
"As far as the drop-dead date, the only drop-dead date I would give him is if he drops dead he shouldn't play," Van Gundy said Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "Other than that, when he's ready, come back."
He's not ready. And he may not be ready at any point this season. Rose said Wednesday his status is the same it's been for a couple months. He's been medically cleared to play from his May 12 ACL reconstruction, but he's not ready.
"I don't know if I'm surprised, I think 'concerned' would probably be a better word," Van Gundy said. "Because ever since the end of January they've been saying it could be the next week, or the next week. That he's still not back to me is concerning, because you don't know if there's been a setback or if he doesn't have the confidence yet. So certainly there is a concern there."
Bulls GM Gar Forman said Wednesday there has been no setback.
But with only 13 games left in the regular season, some wonder if it would be better to just shut down Rose until next season, rather than bring him back so close to the playoffs. Van Gundy said he would have no qualms about bringing Rose back even once the playoffs began.
"No qualms. Your best player, on the floor ... he's going to go through a struggle whether he goes through it this year or next year," Van Gundy said. "It doesn't matter when he comes back, there's going to be a period of adjustment and adaptation.
"Listen, the Bulls have a chance to be better with Rose than without him. To me there is no risk, at all. Because right now they're sitting where they're not having home court. They're going to be the underdog probably going into any first-round series. With Derrick's health status and their talent level this year, they need an injection of talent, and of scoring ability and the ability to put pressure on the defense and make the game easier offensively for guys like (Luol) Deng who have really struggled with their shooting because they're not getting the same looks. So I would have no hesitation at all."