It's fair to say Derrick Rose has come in for his fair share of criticism in this his comeback season for the Chicago Bulls, with the former NBA MVP accused of being unwilling to put his body on the line for the team in recent weeks.
Rose has missed eight games already this season with various complaints and managed only 10 minutes against the Denver Nuggets in Chicago's last outing on November 25th leading to frustration from the sidelines. Stating this month that he was focussing on his long-term health rather than playing through the pain did little to dispel the critics.
Back in the game
But, as reported by Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago, Rose has publicly announced that he is ready to play a more meaningful role moving forward.
Rose, after navigating a full Bulls practice without issue, told Friedell that he remained very confident that he would be able to string a run of games together in the near future.
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Rose went on to show that he is ready to fight against the neysayers claiming his confidence will get him through the tough times.
The Chicago Bulls take on the Boston Celtics tonight and Rose looks set to take part so long as his body doesn't turn against him. If he does suit up he will be looking to help his team to their 10th win of the 2014-15 season.
Time on his side
Rose's luck certainly hasn't been in in recent years with injuries scuppering the immensely talented player's ability to progress to the NBA's elite. At just 26-year-old though Rose still has time on his side and if he can overcome injuries, and what seem to have been confidence issues, he has a chance at regaining a place at the top table.
The Bulls will be hoping Derrick Rose's rehabilitation ramps up another gear in the new future but with a strong roster surrounding him in Chicago the reality is that the Wind City franchise should ease into the Eastern Conference playoffs with or without Rose in full swing.
Come the postseason however a fully fit, sharp Derrick Rose could be the difference.