OKC's Westbrook: Derrick Rose will be even better

CHICAGO -- Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook said Thursday he believed his friend and summer workout partner Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose would return a stronger player when he returns from his ACL injury.

Rose tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during Game 1 of a first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers last season and had surgery May 12. Typically the recovery time after the surgery is eight to 12 months.

“Definitely, he’ll be stronger, definitely be a lot better after seeing him this summer, seeing how quickly he was getting better and better,” Westbrook said prior to Thursday’s game with the Bulls. “No doubt in my mind he will. He works hard at what he does, and he’ll definitely come back better determined and come back and try to be better.”

Rose was restricted in what he could do this summer, but he still attended workout sessions with Westbrook in California.

“It was different,” Westbrook said of watching Rose. “He wasn’t able to do everything he was capable of doing. At the same time, he was still there working, trying to get better.

“It was tough. We’ve worked out together for about four years now. So it was definitely a little different. Like I said, he was still in the gym, doing what he can and what he could.”