Thibs: Bulls, Rose on same page with rehab

Time is running out on the regular season, but Derrick Rose still hasn't ruled out a return this year. AP Photo/Charlie Arbogast

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau was adamant Tuesday, especially in the case of injured point guard Derrick Rose, that the inmates are not running the asylum.

Not Rose, or any of the other injured Bulls players are alone in calling the shots when it comes to their return from injuries, Thibodeau suggested.

Rose has been out for just shy of a year with a torn ACL in his left knee that was surgically repaired. While many athletes can typically return within a year of an ACL tear, Rose still has not played, although he has not ruled out the chance of playing before the playoff-bound Bulls end their season.

ESPNChicago.com reported in early March that Rose had been cleared to play, according to a team source, but that Rose was still dealing with the psychological effects of the injury.

Thibodeau moved Tuesday to say that Rose isn't alone in holding things back and that the entire organization is on the same page when it comes to the former MVP's rehabilitation and potential return.

"Right from the start (chairman) Jerry (Reinsdorf) set the tone for it and made it clear about how we were going to approach it," Thibodeau said after Tuesday's shootaround. "We were never going to rush him back and we weren't going to allow him to rush himself back. I think he heeded Jerry's advice right from the beginning and has been diligent.

"He has done everything he can possibly do. He puts everything he has into each and every day. He's still not quite ready and we have to trust him. When he is ready he'll move forward."

Thibodeau said that Rose will not play in Tuesday night's game against the Toronto Raptors, but nobody has said that Rose will not return this season. With just six regular-season games remaining and then the playoffs, though, time is running out.

Thibodeau said he was not aware of any instance when Rose's camp had butted heads with the organization on a return.

"Not that I know of," Thibodeau said. "I think it's been clear from the very beginning and we've made it clear that we don't want him out there unless he's comfortable. I think he understands that. He's done his part. We have to do what's right and I think we are."

Reinsdorf has said on multiple occasions that he regrets letting Michael Jordan talk his way into returning after breaking his foot and missing 64 games of the 1985-86 season. Never mind that upon his return, Jordan scored 63 points in a loss to the Boston Celtics.

Reinsdorf was uncomfortable watching Jordan light up the scoreboard that day and has always called the decision a mistake. He even referenced it when the plan for Rose's rehab was put into place.

"He did," Thibodeau said. "If you can recall, he mentioned that it was the one regret he had. I think he made it clear to us, to Derrick, to the doctors how we were going to approach it and that is exactly what has happened.

"And trust me, Derrick wants to be out there very badly. He's doing all he can, and when the time comes he will be out there."