CHICAGO -- Carmelo Anthony on Thursday implored the media and fans to have patience with Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose in his return from knee surgery, and the New York Knicks forward thinks Rose should sit out the rest of the season.
"I wish y'all would stop rushing Derrick back," said Anthony, whose Knicks, winners of 13 straight, play the Bulls on Thursday night. "Please. He shouldn't come back until he's about 110 percent ready. I don't think he should come back if he's not ready to go out there and play. If he can't compete at a high level, then what's a couple more months going to do? What's two more months going to do? I don't think he should come back, and that's just my opinion.
"I really don't know where he's at with his rehab and stuff like that, but I feel bad for him because I know he's got to deal with that every day, he's got to deal with that question. And nobody really knows on the outside what he's really going through, what his body is going through. So until he's 100 percent right, I would hope he would sit out."
A source told ESPNChicago.com in early March that Rose has been medically cleared to play but needs to regain his confidence in his left leg before he will return. With five games left in the regular season, time is running out for Rose, but he has said he wouldn't rule out returning for the playoffs.
"There's no drop-dead date. That's the thing," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Thursday. "Whenever he's ready, he's ready. We made that clear. That's where it stands.''
Thibodeau understands the attention that the timetable for a Rose return receives but maintains the Bulls will be patient with the process.
"Look, this was not unexpected. A player like Derrick there's going to be a lot of attention on, and rightfully so," Thibodeau said. "This guy has done an incredible job with his career, with this franchise, and we understand how important it is. But it would be just as important for any other player. When a guy has an injury like that, you have to be smart about it, you have to be patient, and you have to do what you think is right.''
The Knicks know firsthand how tough it can be to lose a player to an ACL injury considering swingman Iman Shumpert tore his ACL on April 28, the same day Rose did. While Knicks coach Mike Woodson knows the circumstances are different, he can also empathize what the Bulls are going through with Rose.
"[The Bulls] are dealing with their own injuries and their own problems that they've had this year, too," Woodson said. "I don't know the severity of Derrick's injury. I know he had the ACL [tear], now how severe it was, I don't know. But I'm sure when he's ready to play he'll come back and play."
Woodson said it has been difficult for Shumpert to get into a rhythm since returning on Jan. 17.
"He's getting there," Woodson said. "I thought the other night he was fantastic. He's had his ups and downs, but I think as the games go by and he continues to play more, he'll be back to his old self. I just need him to be more nastier on the defensive end. That's where he made his statement last year, I thought."