Rose says he has not thought about returning to Bulls this season. Team USA this summer… maybe.

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The Chicago Bulls are going to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, and because it’s the East if they win a round nobody will be surprised.

But they are trying to avoid last year’s tedious “will he/won’t he” return saga withg Derrick Rose. Bulls coach Tim Thibodeau got out in front of that already and tried to squash it saying Rose is done for the season due to a torn right meniscus.

Rose wouldn’t exactly say the same thing but told CSNChicago.com he has not even run yet and while he is working out there are no plans to try and return to the Bulls this season.

“We haven’t even talked about (a return date). I just come in every day, six days a week, and just try to do all my work and see how far it’s going to take me when I step back on the court,” Rose said. ” I work out six days a week, so I don’t have time to think about basketball….

“I’m not keeping it open. I just said that right now I haven’t thought about it,” Rose said. “I can’t think about it. I’m not running right now. When I get off the AlterG, that’s when I’ll consider coming back or not.”

What he does want to be back for is the World Championships late this summer in Spain.

Rose was a force four years ago in Turkey when Team USA won gold at the event (and secured a slot in the Olympic basketball tournament) and he said if he is healthy he wants to play for his country again.

“If my leg is feeling healthy and I’m there, I’m all in. Of course I want to play for that team,” Rose said. “Playing for that team, it helped the year I won MVP, just getting in the groove. I’m excited if I am able to play in it.”

What would Thibodeau say? Well, he’s one of Mike Krzyzewski’s assistant coaches on Team USA. My guess is if he could get Rose back and let him shake the rust off and find a groove playing with the best players in the world Thibs would be good with it. Let Rose hit the ground running next season, rather than working his way back into a groove.

But he’s got to get healthy first.