Chicago's Rose says he's ready to playAfter missing all of last season, Bulls' point guard vows to play in opener
"I should be able to play in the first game," said Rose, who has been sidelined since April 2012, following a torn ACL in his left knee.
Rose credits his coach, Tom Thibodeau, for helping him prepare both physically and mentally.
"I had the time to think about what's important in my life, getting better on the court, watching a lot of film with [Coach Thibodeau], asking him questions, talking to him about two times a week," Rose told reporters.
After being medically cleared in February, speculation swirled that he would return in time for the Bulls' playoff run. However, the 2011 NBA MVP stated that he would not return until he was "110 percent." Rose ultimately missed the remainder of the regular and post season, much to the chagrin of the Bulls' fan base.
While healing, Rose used his time away from the court to become a more well-rounded leader.
"We're definitely a contender for the title this year," claimed Rose. "I've been talking to my guys, trying to be more vocal as a leader … just trying to communicate with them to let them know that I will be there next year."