The Chicago Bulls have not set a target date for Derrick Rose's return, according to John Paxson, the team's executive vice president for basketball operations. Rose still has yet to make cutting movements on his left knee after he tore his ACL at the end of last season.
Most estimates have Rose returning sometime after the All Star break in February, but there's no guarantee that Rose will be able to play at all in the 2012-13 season. While Rose's season is unlikely to be a complete wash out, Paxson said the Bulls will be very conservative when it comes to bringing Rose back for game action:
"I just can't see us, when that time comes, throwing Derrick out there for 40 minutes a night," Paxson said. "That's my personal feeling, but that's not been determined yet. It's difficult to commit right now to anything because there are so many unknowns. The one thing we want to make sure we get right is properly getting him back to game action. So whatever steps we have to take in order to do that, we'll do."
The Bulls open their season on Wednesday night when they take on the Sacramento Kings. Kirk Hinrich, who the team re-signed in the offseason to handle point guard duties while Rose is out, is expected to start despite suffering a slight groin injury during the preseason.