What to do with Derrick Rose

Medically cleared to play, Derrick Rose continues to sit out until he is "mentally" ready to return. Jerry Lai/USA TODAY Sports

It's the second-biggest question remaining during the regular season. The first, of course, is whether the woefully underachieving Los Angeles Lakers make the playoffs, or become arguably the biggest bust in American sports history? But next to that, the focus is on one-time MVP Derrick Rose.

Will he return or won't he? Should he return or shouldn't he?

It appears that Rose is physically ready to play. That's according to his doctor and Rose himself. The holdup is mental. Rose is lacking the confidence in his surgically-repaired knee to play with all the abandon that makes him so great. That's understandable. His confidence will come with time.

The Bulls have maintained all along that they won't rush their franchise player to return before he's ready. But some around the league believe the club is subtly pushing Rose to start playing in games, and they cite as evidence last week's ESPNChicago.com story that attibutes an anonymous source with saying Rose has been cleared to play by his doctor.

Who else besides the Bulls would leak such a story, they wonder.

Whatever the case, talk of Rose's return is on the lips of many inside the league. Should he come back to help the Bulls challenge Miami for the Eastern Conference title? Or should he sit out the rest of the season and return for training camp next fall?