Derrick Rose says his health is back to 100 percent and he plans to play in the Bulls' preseason opener this fall, in case anyone thought he might consider sitting out another season.
Rose was interviewed in Madrid on the final stop of a European promotional tour that included stops in Milan, Paris, London and Belgrade. The interview was reported by HoopsHype.com.
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"I should be able to play in the first game of season," Rose said. "I know I'm anxious right now to play. My health is everything right now, it's 100 percent. But right now, the first game ... I will definitely be playing it.
"We will play in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil (on Oct. 12 against Washington), the first NBA game ever in Rio, so that's going to be a big game not only for the Bulls but for the NBA. Just some minutes out there, see how it feels just to be back on the court and enjoy the experience."
The Bulls should open training camp on or around Oct. 1 at the Berto Center. Rose mentioned he has high expectations for the coming season and has been in contact with his Bulls teammates. Playing without Rose last season, the Bulls beat Brooklyn in the first round of the playoffs before losing to Miami.
"This next season is huge for us," Rose said. "We're definitely a contender for the title this year. I've been talking to my guys, trying to be more vocal as a leader, just texting them, calling them, just trying to communicate with them to let them know that I will be there next year.
"The team did the best they could bringing players that play hard and people fit the system. Last year we made it to the second round of the playoffs, so this year the goal is to get further."
Rose hasn't played since April 28, 2012 when he tore the ACL in his left knee late in the first-round playoff game against Philadelphia. The former MVP was asked how it will feel to step on the court once again for an NBA game.
"I would say emotional, but I'm not an emotional guy like that," Rose said. "I don't know how I'm going to react actually when I step on the court or before the game. I know everybody is going to be watching ... I'm just trying to prepare for it, go out there and see how it goes. I have a lot of confidence in myself.
"(Mentally) I'm just strong as I've been. I had the time to think about what's important in my life, getting better on the court, watching a lot of film with Thibs (coach Tom Thibodeau), asking him questions, talking to him about two times a week ... So he's been kind of a professor to me."