"Derrick Rose has practiced for the last two months. If there was something wrong with him in practice, I think the Bulls would have came out at some point and said, 'Hey, he doesn't look good in practice,'" Barkley said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "So I'm just very surprised he hasn't come back.
"My personal opinion is if he's good enough to practice full speed with no limitations, I think he should have played."
Rose underwent ACL surgery on May 12, 2012. He began scrimmaging 5-on-5 on Feb. 18 and has been medically cleared to play, a team source told ESPN Chicago on March 9.
Rose still hasn't ruled out returning this postseason, but most consider that unlikely.
"My biggest problem with the whole thing is he's been practicing full speed for two months. If he has not been healthy and not been practicing, it would be a totally different scenario to me," Barkley said. "But if he's able to practice full speed for two months -- not one week, not five days -- according to reports he's been practicing every day for two months, and if he's practicing every day for two months I think he should have played by now."
Noah had pointed words for critics after the Bulls won Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Miami Heat on Monday.
"If you tore your ACL and you have to be the starting point guard and have the expectations that Derrick has, then maybe you can judge, but everybody who hasn't been in that situation before should really shut up because I feel like it's just so unfair to him and to this team," Noah said. "We're fighting, and everybody's going to just s--- on somebody who's been giving so much to this organization. It's crazy to me."
Barkley wasn't surprised.
"You can't go by what his teammates say," Barkley said. "Your teammates always have to defend you. Your teammates can't question you publicly. But as fans and media people, we have the right to ask legitimate questions. And these aren't criticisms, these are fair questions.
"If he's practicing now for two months without limitations, that tells me that he's practicing like there's nothing wrong. I don't understand why he's not playing."