Derrick Rose won't be rushed back

Chicago Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said Saturday he won't risk Derrick Rose's future by allowing his franchise player to return to the court too soon after suffering a torn ACL last season.

Rose tore the ACL in his left knee in Game 1 of the Bulls' first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers on April 28. He had surgery on May 12, and is expected to need eight to 12 months to recover.

"I'm not going to let him back until the doctors tell me that it's absolutely safe for him to come back," Reinsdorf said on ESPN 1000's "Talking Baseball" on Saturday. "I made that mistake with Michael Jordan years ago where I think we let him come back too soon. It worked out OK, but it might not have. This time I'm not going to make that mistake. Until the doctors say he's 100 percent and they put their reputations on the line, he's not coming back."

Jordan broke a bone in his left foot during the third game of the 1985-86 season. He missed 64 games and was allowed back for the team's final 15 regular-season contests. He led the Bulls in scoring in their final eight games and helped them reach the playoffs.

Reggie Rose, Derrick Rose's brother and manager, recently told ESPNChicago that the point guard is walking without a brace and his rehab is ahead of schedule. Reinsdorf said he's also been told Rose is making progress.

"The doctors told us that it would be eight to 12 months from the time of the surgery," Reinsdorf said. "Surgery was the middle of May. That means the earliest possible time he'll be back would be the middle of January. If it's 12 months, then he'll miss the whole season. We just don't know. The reports are very good. They say he's ahead of schedule. He's doing all the rehabbing he's got to do. We'll see. In the meantime, I think we're going to have a pretty decent club."

The Bulls lost Omer Asik, Kyle Korver, C.J. Watson and Ronnie Brewer this offseason but added Nazr Mohammed, Marquis Teague, Marco Belinelli, Vladimir Radmanovic and Kirk Hinrich.

"(General manager) Gar Forman has done a great job of turning over the bench," Reinsdorf said. "We lost most of our so-called 'Bench Mob.' But if you look at the numbers, the bench actually has the potential to be more productive than the old guys.

"We still have Joakim (Noah) and Luol (Deng) and Taj (Gibson) and Carlos (Boozer). I think we're going to be a pretty decent team without Derrick. Will we win a championship? I doubt that very seriously, but if we can hang in there and get to the playoffs and if Derrick comes back, who knows? We might be there at the end."

The Bulls had the best regular-season record (50-16) in the NBA last season despite missing Rose for 27 games.