The injured Derrick Rose is unlikely to return to the Knicks this season

It sounds like Derrick Rose is done for the season.

Last week, during the Knicks’ three-game road trip, Tom Thibodeau noted that Rose had taken the next step in practice and was just waiting for him to be cleared for contact.

But with seven games remaining, the play-in down to a fantasy, and the Knicks beating Chicago 109-104 on Monday, Thibodeau was singing a different song.

Thibodeau said Rose’s “conditioning” was still an issue and it was unclear when he would be released for contact following his second ankle surgery on February 25.

“I don’t know,” said Thibodeau, if there was still time. “I don’t know – he’s been out a long time.”

Playing the little kids like rookie point guard Miles McBride might be the smart move, although there has been a move to give Rose a go-ahead for next season.

Knicks guard Derrick Rose
NBAE via Getty Images

“The main thing is that we want him to take it step by step,” said Thibodeau. “He hasn’t made contact. He has increased his conditioning but has not made contact. That’s a big deal.”

When his season is over, Rose will only have played 26 games in his second season of his second Knicks stint. He was rightly praised for leading the Knicks to a 41-31 record with an All-Star finish last season.

But he underwent surgery in December to remove a bone spur from his ankle, then had a second procedure and is unlikely to return. In a video Rose posted after his recent procedure, he hinted he would be back. The second operation involved an infection in the surgical area. Rose has not spoken to the media since January.

Rookie shooting guard Quentin Grimes missed his second straight game with a sore right knee — the same knee that dislocated on Feb. 25. It’s unclear if the Knicks are concerned that Grimes came back early.

Julius Randle wasn’t sure he’d be ready to call it a day after returning to Detroit after three games on Sunday, but he did play the Bulls on Monday. The injured Derrick Rose is unlikely to return to the Knicks this season


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