Feb 12, 2013, 12:46 PM EDT
Basic math will tell you that there is no such thing as “110 percent,” a commonly used sports cliche.
After Derrick Rose used this term to describe when he’d be ready to return to the court from the devastating knee injury he suffered in the first game of the playoffs last April, Bulls fans have to be hoping that their team’s best player wasn’t being literal while uttering that statement.
“I don’t have a set date,” Rose told USA TODAY Sports on Monday in his first extensive interview since the 2012-13 NBA season began. “I’m not coming back until I’m 110%. Who knows when that can be? It can be within a couple of weeks. It could be next year. It could be any day. It could be any time. It’s just that I’m not coming back until I’m ready.”
How close is Rose to 110%?
“Right now, probably in the high 80s,” he said. “Far away. Far away.”
The Bulls have two All-Stars on their roster in Luol Deng and Joakim Noah, who earned that honor this season by guiding the team to a 30-21 record to this point, good enough to put Chicago a half-game out of third place in the Eastern Conference standings.
With the regular season success the Bulls have achieved, and considering the severity of the injury, there’s no reason at all for them to try and rush their franchise player back from injury before he’s fully ready — but he will need to come back at some point before that mythical “110 percent” level is ever reached.
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