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Report: Derrick Rose expected to begin process of returning to team

With his Cleveland Cavaliers teammates in Chicago to face the Bulls Monday night at United Center (8 ET, NBA League Pass), guard Derrick Rose is headed in the opposite direction.

Rose was expected to resume treatment and rehab on his injured left ankle at the Cavs’ practice facility in suburban Cleveland, according to a team statement released Monday morning. His status will be updated “when he reaches the point of returning to play,” it read.

“This has been a very challenging and difficult time for Derrick,” Cavs GM Koby Altman said. “We will continue to provide him with support and have patience as he re-joins his teammates and works his way back on to the court.”

Earlier Monday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski had reported that Rose — who hasn’t played since injuring his ankle Nov. 7 and left the squad on Nov. 24 to allegedly evaluate his NBA future — was set to meet with team officials as Step 1 in his desire to return:

After a self-imposed exile, Derrick Rose flew to Cleveland Monday morning and plans to report to the Cleveland Cavaliers practice facility, league sources tell ESPN.

He’s expected to meet with front office officials and begin the process of returning after leaving the team last week.

Last season, Rose went missing from the New York Knicks on a game day without permission from the organization. He was fined by the Knicks and apologized to his teammates when he returned the next day.

The Cavaliers have said Rose’s current absence is different than the Knicks situation because he is not an active player and he communicated with the franchise at the outset of his leave.

Rose, 29, averaged 14.3 points but just 1.7 assists in minutes and made 3-of-13 3-point attempts before getting hurt in contact with center Greg Monroe in Milwaukee four weeks ago.

The frustration of his derailed MVP career after repeated injuries and layoffs, starting with the 2012-13 season he missed entire after knee surgery, was believed to have driven Rose to take his leave from the Cavs. After earning nearly $117 million in NBA salary in his first nine season, the Chicago product is playing 2017-18 on a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal for $2.1 million.