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Derrick Rose taking time to recover from ankle injury

From NBA media reports

The Cleveland Cavaliers are 1 1/2 games out of first place in the Eastern Conference, an amazing feat considering their 5-7 start and that they have been playing without either of their new point guards most of the season. Isaiah Thomas is mending quickly from his hip injury but is at least a week or so away from a return. The Cavs are also without Derrick Rose, who has been dealing with a sprained left ankle for much of his first season with the team.

Rose left the Cavs from Nov. 22 until Dec. 4, opting for a self-imposed separation to ponder his basketball future. Since then, he has been rehabbing his injury and no timetable exists for his return. In a conversation with Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, Rose made it clear he is “not depressed” — as some had speculated — and that he is in no hurry to get back into the lineup.

Rose praised the Cavaliers’ front office (and star forward LeBron James) for their patience in his injury-rehab work and addressed other topics in the conversation:

How is your body feeling now? I know it has been taking you through some tests and turns.

It’s feeling good. I am trying to take it one day at a time. I appreciate everything. I’m mindful of everything. I’m just staying in my routine that I’ve been doing for the last 10 years.

Did you come close to retiring?

No. No. That’s stupid. I don’t want to even talk about that. But I’m just happy that LeBron understood.

Do you have any idea about when you’ll return to action?

No. It’s really no rush. It’s really about rehabbing my ankle. I’m happy that the rehab is taking care of my problem. Every day or every week I am pressing to something different. It’s good.

Do you see a light at the end of the tunnel?

I think so. Like I said, it’s all about me taking my time. I can’t think about a due date or is this going to be the day. It’s about me making the most of my days, getting treatment and staying atop everything so I can return as soon as possible.

Rose says his ankle injury kept him from running for about a month — something he is able to do now. Additionally, he has enjoyed the Cavs’ string of success — they are 19-3 since that slow start — and sees a new side of James that he never caught a glimpse of as an opponent.

What’s the best part of being around LeBron every day?

Learning. A lot of people overlook or don’t take it serious when he dominates the game. They are used to him dominating the game. Every game you see him score 32 points, have a triple-double, and he rarely breaks a sweat. A lot of people overlook that. That’s greatness. He makes it look easy.

When your [teammates] look better or the game looks easy because of how hard you work, that is greatness, I believe. A lot of people overlook that.

How good can the Cavaliers be if fully healthy? (Guards Isaiah Thomas and Iman Shumpert are also out through injury).

I don’t have an idea because you have Isaiah coming back soon, you got myself, I am coming back. We are just learning how to play with each other now. We’ve had some great runs where we’ve played decent basketball. Even with our losses, we were in the game here and there.

It’s fun for me because I am able to watch other professionals do what they do and play around a great player. For me being around this team and watching the games from afar, it’s good basketball. I love the way we’re playing.