The only timeline the Bulls have given regarding Derrick Rose's return is eight to 12 months. That means, given the surgery took place May 12, missing the 2012-13 season always was a possibility.

Now that Rose sitting out all season is all but a certainty, the Bulls and Rose have drawn some criticism. Asked in light of that whether the Bulls should have just declared Rose out for the season last fall, coach Tom Thibodeau shrugged.

"They were just being forthright," Thibodeau said of management and team physician Brian Cole. "That's what everyone thought. We didn't know, and we still don't know. We were just being honest.

"Obviously, you can look back and say that now, but we never felt that way. We knew it was the type of injury that takes time, so you just want to do what you feel is right. We feel like we've done that."

Rose was cleared for full scrimmaging on Feb. 18. He has practiced well but has given no signs of playing in games.

"Derrick has put a ton into his rehab. He really has," Thibodeau said. "He gives you maximum effort every day. There's nothing more he could really do. Once he feels ready, he'll go."

Thibodeau reiterated there is no drop-dead date for Rose to return, leaving the possibility open he could play in the playoffs after missing the regular season. Nobody expects that scenario to transpire, however, which means Rose likely would return next training camp.

Thibodeau was asked if the story is more of an obsession with fans and media than within the organization.

"Look, this was not unexpected. A player like Derrick there's going to be a lot of attention on and rightfully so," Thibodeau said. "This guy has done an incredible job with his career, with this franchise, and we understand how important it is. … We knew (missing the season) would be a possibility all along."

Knicks star Carmelo Anthony told reporters at the morning shootaround to "stop rushing Derrick back."

"What's two more months going to do?" Anthony said. "I don't think he should come back, and that's just my opinion."