Collins witnessed Rose tear an ACL in his left knee against the 76ers in Game 1 of the opening round of the playoffs on April 28, 2012. He said Tuesday he wasn't surprised Rose hadn't played in a game since.
"No, I never put a time timetable on a player," Collins said. "I had that knee injury. You look at the young kid (Marlon Brown) from Georgia. He's in the NFL combine and all. Everybody rehabs a little different.
"The one thing you have to do is when you come off a serious knee injury, the physical aspect is just one side of it. The other huge side of it is the mental aspect of it. Do you trust yourself playing in a crowd exploding off that leg? Derrick Rose plays in a crowd. He's in the crowd. He's falling. He's coming down on one leg and stuff. He has to be incredibly mentally ready to say, 'I'm ready to do those things again.' "
Rose, who has been cleared medically to play for a while but is working to regain his confidence in his left leg, is considered day to day by the Bulls. He has been traveling with the team since January and went through a shootaround Tuesday, but coach Tom Thibodeau said Rose's status has not changed.
Collins said Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, who hired Collins to coach the Bulls from 1986-89, has the best interest of the organization in mind when it comes to Rose.
"Trust me, I know Jerry Reinsdorf as well as anybody," Collins said. "Jerry Reinsdorf knows how important that young man is. He's not going to do anything to jeopardize his future or the Bulls' future.
"You also have to understand the worst thing that could happen for him is to come back early and set himself back. You become short-term foolish instead of looking at the long term. This is a young kid who is an MVP in this league who when he's healthy makes the Bulls one of the best teams in the NBA. So why wouldn't you want him to be at his best?"
Collins' advice to the Bulls fans is to get behind Rose and support him until he's ready to return.
"It's easy sometimes we all sit out there and we want them to play because we know how much better they are when he's playing," Collins said. "Does anybody have any question of what kind of competitor he is and how bad he wants to be out there to play? He definitely wants to be out there. Let him be ready. That's the most important thing.
"This Chicago, this sports city, is as good as there is in the world, and I know those Bulls fans are dying. … Let's embrace him and give him the love he needs and stuff and show the encouragement to get him back on that court when he's ready."