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Derrick Rose thinks he'll play this season, not sure when

Atlanta Hawks First Team to 50 Wins


CHICAGO (AP) -- Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose said Monday he thinks he will be back this season after last month's knee surgery, but he isn't putting a firm timetable on his return.

Meeting with the media for the first time since undergoing surgery Feb. 27 to repair the torn medial meniscus in his right knee, Rose said his return this season is "the plan, so whenever I feel right, that's when I'm going to step back."

After the surgery, the Bulls put a timetable of four-to-six weeks on Rose's return.

"I feel good. I'm in a positive place right now," Rose said. "Just trying to keep it positive and get the most out of these days."

Rose hasn't played since Feb. 23 against the Milwaukee Bucks, when he went 1 for 13 in 33 minutes. The next night, the Bulls announced that he would undergo his latest knee surgery.

Rose missed all of the 2012-13 season after tearing his left ACL during the first round of the 2012 playoffs, and played only 10 games last season after initially tearing the meniscus in his right knee.

The former MVP isn't sure when this injury happened. He speculated that he might have been playing on it for a month and he remembered he felt something during Chicago's game in Golden State on Jan. 27.

"That could have been a sign telling me that something was wrong, and that was a month and two weeks ago," Rose said. "So, who knows when it happened? It could have happened that game, the previous game, who knows?"

Rose spent time on the United Center floor shooting flat-footed jumpers Monday before the Bulls played Memphis, and Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau said he is "right on schedule" in his latest return.

"He has been through a lot and has to keep going," Thibodeau said. "There's not much you can do, other than put everything you have into each and every day. His focus has to be on the rehab."

The Bulls were also without Jimmy Butler (left elbow) and Taj Gibson (left ankle).

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