Bo knows Derrick.

Bo Jackson, the former Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals outfielder who threw out the first pitch Monday at U.S. Cellular Field, defended Bulls star Derrick Rose for taking the deliberate course back to the court after ACL surgery last May.

"I am quite sure that Derrick is going to come back when he needs to," Jackson told reporters in the press box during a wide-ranging conversation. "I couldn’t say either way whether he should or not. Derrick will know when it’s time to come back. I think he has handled it very well. It seems like the people who are having fits about this are you guys.

"Derrick has handled it well. He is a new dad and seems happy. Why push it? Between the media and the public pushing him he should come back, he should come back ... what if he did come back and reinjure himself? Then you’re going to point fingers at the staff of the Bulls saying he shouldn’t have come back. You guys can’t have it both ways. Let him heal, come back home and when he comes back home, welcome him."

Jackson, who develops sports complexes in the Midwest, said he pays little attention to professional sports. He marveled at the return of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson after a torn ACL but claimed to be too busy to follow anything closely. A serious hip injury shortened Jackson’s NFL career in 1991 and bothered the rare two-sport superstar while playing baseball for the Sox and Royals.

Asked if he has discussed with Rose the psychological issues that accompany overcoming serious injuries, Jackson shook his head.

"I know Derrick well (but) I haven’t talked to him about his injury, just like I wouldn’t want anybody to talk to me about my golf game," said Jackson, 50. "Derrick will come back when Derrick’s ready."