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Derrick Rose’s advice to Russell Westbrook: “Take his time”

Oct 24, 2013, 4:53 PM EDT

Derrick Rose AP

I can hear groans coming out of Chicago (and a few from Oklahoma City) after just the headline.

We don’t need to recap how Derrick Rose missed all of last season for the Bulls as he worked to return from ACL surgery. He had the right to stay out until he felt he could play like his old self again, but he handled the public relations side of it poorly and built up some resentment. Now that he’s back, he needs to keep his head down and just play.

Rose was asked if he had advice for Russell Westbrook, who is trying to return from a knee injury suffered last playoffs, and he returned to a running theme of patience, reports by Aggrey Sam at CSNChicago.com.

“Take his time,” he said. “He’s the only one who knows his body. There’s no need to force anything and attack every day of rehab like it’s your last day. Get everything you can get out of it every day.”

Rose believes that Westbrook will be the same player upon his return.

“Oh, for sure,” he said. “He has that type of will and his frame, his body, I think it’s just going to help him become a better player.”

Westbrook was expected to miss the first month of the season at least, but he also reportedly is dunking in practice and is working hard to get back.

That said, Westbrook should be patient. Rose is right. This isn’t about winning games in November, it’s about the next decade of his career. This is something that needs to fully heal, that he needs to strengthen the muscle groups around, and only when he feels like his old self should he return. If it takes a little longer to get it right, so be it.

Still, expect Westbrook back around Thanksgiving, if not earlier.

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