Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose is back on a basketball court as he rehabs from knee surgery, and Rose said his recovery is two or three weeks ahead of schedule.
Rose tore his left anterior cruciate ligament on April 28 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Philadelphia 76ers, who went on to upset the Bulls in six games. Rose underwent surgery May 12, and the surgeon, Dr. Brian Cole, said the recovery would take eight to 12 months.
"I remember (the injury)," Rose said recently in an interview with Comcast SportsNet Chicago, his first since the injury. "I remember everything. I remember jumping in the air and coming back down, and just that popping sound. I felt it actually tear when I laid all the way out and it just let go.
"I didn't have that that much pain after that. In the beginning I did, but I didn't want to yell or anything. When that happened, all I could think about was people just talking. You could hear the whole arena, people just whispering all around -- one of the things, like 'Not again. Come on, man. First game back. We had the win' -- and I was just hoping [it was] nothing serious.
"Then we got to the hospital, got in the MRI machine, the whole time praying. Dr. Cole, the Bulls' doctor, came up to me and told me it was torn. I couldn't believe it. That's the closest thing to death, the closest to death I've got to right there, where it just seemed like the wind and everything was taken out [of me]."
Rose, who joined Twitter Sunday, tweeted a picture of himself getting ready to shoot a basketball Tuesday at Berto Center. "Feels good to be back in the gym" was a tweet accompanying the picture.
There's also a new adidas commercial, featuring Rose's rehabilitation and determination to return, that debuted Wednesday.
Despite Rose and several others saying Rose's rehab was ahead of schedule, the most definitive statement about when he'll return was given Saturday by Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, who told ESPN 1000's "Talkin' Baseball" that he will not rush Rose back until he's 100 percent.
Reinsdorf said he rushed Michael Jordan in his second season, and although that worked out fine, Reinsdorf will not tempt fate with Rose.
"[I'm just] taking my time," Rose told Comcast, which stated the interview took place last month. "I'm definitely two or three weeks ahead of where I'm supposed to be, but that still (doesn't) help the part healing-wise. I've still got to take that time off for my leg to heal.
"Of course, strength-wise it's getting better every day, but scar tissue still has to heal, getting used to me just laying on my knees. Knee's still numb in some areas. Hopefully I'll get over that, but the doctor says I'll forget about it when the season goes on, so I should be all right."
Rose credited his family and friends for supporting him while he's been down.
He spent some of the summer, as he usually does, working out in Los Angeles. His first public comments after the injury were in a video posted on his Facebook page. He said at the time he was doing well and thanked fans for supporting him and told them not to worry, sentiments he echoed in the Comcast interview.
"I'm good, man. I definitely haven't been out like that, but I'm doing fine, just trying to stay positive, keep everything normal," Rose said. "The injury could have been way worse. You've got some people that probably feel worse than I am, but I know I'm going to be all right. I believe in God, my spirits are up and I believe in myself, and I know I'm going to be back even stronger."