Derrick Rose has set his sights on the coveted NBA Championship on return to the Chicago Bulls line-up this season.
The 2010-11 MVP has been out for 14 months with an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury sustained in the 2012 play-offs against the Philadelphia 76ers – meaning the 24-year-old missed all of last season.
However, the former University of Memphis star is ready to get back on the court in October, and has one aim in his mind.
"There's only one goal, and that's to win a championship," the point guard told Bulls TV.
Questions have been raised over Rose’s commitment to the Bulls’ cause after a longer-than-predicted stint on the sidelines, with suggestions he could return during last season’s play-offs eventually proving to be unfounded.
The Bulls managed to defy the odds and make a run in the play-offs, despite a string of injuries throughout the roster, but Rose admits he had to be selfish and think about his own recovery rather than rushing back in a bid to help the team.
"I'm not a selfish guy at all, but having this injury and knowing what I had to go through and knowing that I had to be smart, this is something that I had to be selfish with," he added.
"I couldn't worry about anyone else but myself and my health."
Much of the speculation surrounding Rose’s potential comeback was due to his lack of interaction with the media, as the number one draft pick in 2008 kept himself away from the spotlight.
It’s a decision Rose certainly doesn’t regret, and he’s happy to admit he didn’t want to do anything except work on his knee rehabilitation and spend time with his young son.
"I didn't want to do anything. I didn't want to talk to anyone. I just wanted to rebuild my leg and be around my son,” he mused.
“It's a time where me having a son is huge for me. It's real big. My father wasn't ever in my life, so he's first now and with anything."