While the Cleveland Cavaliers were in Chicago on Monday, they received word that former Bulls star Derrick Rose would return to Cleveland and resume rehabbing his ankle injury.
Rose has been sidelined since Nov. 9 and took an excused leave of absence from the team on Nov. 22. Initial reactions were all positive from the Cavaliers' side.
"We don't know what he's going through. We don't know," LeBron James told reporters at Monday's shootaround. "He doesn't owe us an explanation, I don't think."
There hasn't been a clear explanation for Rose's leave of absence. There were reports that he was simply tired of being injured and needed some time away from the team. It's not clear if he contemplated retirement, though there has been talk in recent days the Cavs expected Rose back with the team.
"When D-Rose walks back in, D-Rose is a Cleveland Cavalier," Dwyane Wade said. "You want to embrace everybody, just like I wanted to be embraced when I came here. It takes time to build trust, but it will happen. He's one of us."
Bulls fans are well-aware of Rose's injury history. In April 2012, roughly a year after winning the MVP award, Rose tore the ACL in his left knee and missed the following season. When he return for the start of the 2013-14 season, Rose tore cartilage in his right knee and was sidelined after 10 games.
The Bulls traded him to New York in the summer of 2016. Rose missed the end of last season with a knee injury and now has the ankle issue. He has played in seven games for the Cavaliers.
Before Monday's game, Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue was asked if Rose has any fences to mend.
"No, everyone's happy he's back," Lue said. "All the players are happy and excited that he's back, as well as the coaches and the front office. We're just glad he's in a good place right now. We're just happy to have him back. So no hard feelings."
There's no word yet on where Rose stands with his rehab or when he might be ready for game action. At the moment, he's the Cavs' third-leading scorer at 14.4 points per game.
There has been plenty of drama surrounding Rose, with the injuries, the civil suit last year and his unexcused absence from the Knicks, But Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg refused to acknowledge the Bulls are better off without the hometown hero.
"I've always said this about Derrick, I enjoyed coaching him," Hoiberg said. "I'll always wish him nothing but the best. I'm glad to hear that he's back with the team."