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Doctors clear Derrick Rose to play, but he’s not ready yet

Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose goes through pregame warmups

Eric Gay/The Associated Press

Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose has received medical clearance to return to the lineup, but he remains hesitant to do so until he feels he's completely ready.

Rose, 24, indicated that he doesn't plan to play in a game until he can dunk off his left leg at full speed, ESPN.com reported Friday. He tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on May 12 during the NBA playoffs and underwent surgery.

As the former league MVP's recovery accelerated in recent weeks, he resumed practicing and scrimmaging at full speed with the team and is now sitting on the bench during games. The Bulls are still hoping for a mid-March return.

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Rose's doctor has told the Bulls, according to ESPN, that Rose is ready physically to play and there is no greater risk of reinjury that what a player normally faces.

During an interview in February, Rose didn't sound confident about the possibility of even playing at all this season.

"I don't mind missing this year," he said, according to ESPN. "I would love to (return). I would love to. That's why I approached my rehab and my workout so hard. I'm trying to get back on the court as quickly as possible, but if I have anything lingering on, it's no point."

The Bulls have insisted that they won't rush Rose back.

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