Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose returned Wednesday night from a meniscectomy on his right knee in February in the team’s 105-103 loss to the Orlando Magic.
Rose scored nine points in 19 minutes of action on 3-for-9 shooting, including 1-for-6 from the 3-point line.
“It feels the same,” Rose said in an article from espn.go.com. “I’ve been putting a lot of work in, busting my ass, to get back and I’m just happy that I’m happy to come back to a team where I think we’re playing the right basketball. I think defensively we’re playing good, so offensively I shouldn’t have to worry about it, just come back and play the way I normally play.”
Coach Tom Thibodeau said Wednesday at shootaround he expected the No. 1 overall pick of the 2008 NBA Draft to be limited to 20 minutes in his first game since February 23rd.
From the same espn.go.com article: “Just him being on the floor is a plus for our team,” he said. “I’m not expecting him to play 35 minutes. I’m not expecting him to score 30 points. Just go out there, run the team, play to your strengths, cover up your weaknesses, make your teammates better. That’s all I want him to do.”
Although the former league MVP was rusty, he said it felt good to get back to game action.
“I’m just happy to playing,” Rose said in an article from espn.go.com. “It’s not one thing. The shots I put up, I felt they were good shots, hard shots, and I’m more concerned with us losing more than anything.”
Rose’s teammates were excited to see his return to the court, too.
From an espn.go.com article: “Him being out there is a positive for us,” power forward Pau Gasol said. “We knew he wasn’t going to be very sharp, but I think he was able to play and go up and down and play limited minutes, but [he] was confident.”
Thibodeau was positive in his critique of Rose’s performance in his postgame press conference.
From an espn.go.com article: “I thought the first quarter was very good,” he said. “I thought he got a little winded, [that’s] to be expected but it gives us a baseline and we go from there. “He’s been out a long time so he’s got to get a rhythm. I think the more he plays, the better it will be.”
Rose said he is unsure when he will have his rhythm back, but he is hopeful that it will be sooner rather than later.
From an espn.go.com article: “I got a lot of confidence in myself, but who knows how many games it’s going to take me,” he said. “All I can do is just continue to work on my games and push my teammates for the playoff run.”