Never mind that Rose, in Tom Thibodeau's words, "has to go through regular practice for an extended amount of time before we even think about him playing." In other words, late February or early March remains the best guestimate for his return from left knee surgery.
According to several people who have witnessed his workouts or non-contact participation in practice, Rose remains prodigiously skilled, strong and fast. And he's not at 100 percent medically yet. Of course he will be once he is cleared to play.
"I can't wait to get back on the court to see what I'm going to do," Rose said then. "I don't know how I'm going to play. I don't know what's going to be new about my game. It's just going to be exciting for everybody to see."
Then Rose paused and flashed that quiet, steely, unassuming confidence
"I'm going to be a better player," he said. "My legs have never been this strong. My upper body has never been this strong. My core has never been this strong. I'm going to see where it takes me."