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updated: 2/12/2014 8:48 PM

Bulls' Rose only thinking about his rehab

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  • Bulls guard Derrick Rose, working out before Tuesday's game between the Bulls and the Atlanta Hawks, spoke publicly Wednesday night for the first time since early December.

      Bulls guard Derrick Rose, working out before Tuesday's game between the Bulls and the Atlanta Hawks, spoke publicly Wednesday night for the first time since early December.
    Associated Press

 
 

There are several pertinent questions for Derrick Rose.

Is there a chance he will play late this season? What does he think about the direction of the Bulls? How involved will he be in roster changes this summer?

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According to Rose, who made his first public comments Wednesday since Dec. 5, none of those topics are on his mind at the moment.

"I haven't even had a change to think about it, to tell you the truth," Rose said before the team's annual "Evening with the Bulls" fundraiser at the United Center. "I'm just worrying about my next stage in this process, and that's running right now.

"I'm on the AlterG right now, running on that and hopefully be running without it pretty soon."

The AlterG is an anti-gravity treadmill, which allows him to run without putting full pressure on his surgically repaired right knee. Rose had surgery Nov. 25 to repair torn meniscus cartilage.

"I can't think about it right now. I'm not running yet," Rose said of his eventual return. "When I get off the Alter G, that's when I'll consider coming back or not.

"(The knee) feels good. It feels normal. It's an easier process, for sure (than his torn ACL in 2012). I'm able to walk. It feels normal right now, but I know it's not there."

Rose did feel confident enough to commit himself to USA Basketball this summer if he is healthy. Rose was one of 28 players named as candidates for the U.S. national squad that will participate in the FIBA World Cup in Spain, beginning Aug. 14. Rose helped lead Team USA to the gold medal at the same event in 2010.

"Oh, yeah, for sure. If my leg is feeling healthy and I'm there, I'm all in," he said. "Of course I want to play for that team. Playing for that team, I think, helped the year that I won MVP (2010-11), just being in a groove. I'm excited if I am able to play in it."

Asked about the state of the Bulls, Rose sent well wishes to departed teammate Luol Deng but had little else to say about the roster retooling that is set for this summer.

"Basketball, that's the last thing (on his mind)," Rose said. "I work out six days a week, so I don't have time to think about basketball."

Asked if his rehab is on schedule, Rose didn't have an answer.

"I haven't even asked. We haven't even talked about it," he said. "I just come in every day, six days a week, do all my work and see how it's going to take me when I step back on the court."

None of these issues comes with a tight deadline. Even though the Bulls declared Rose out for the season, it's not far-fetched that he could be back for the playoffs, but it's too soon to tell if that's possible.

When it comes to the future of the team, if Rose has any interest in luring Carmelo Anthony from New York, that won't happen until the summer. The Bulls are very unlikely to make a significant trade before next week's deadline.

mmcgraw@dailyherald.com

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