"It can be tomorrow where I feel I can play next game," Rose said after Thursday's morning shootaround. "Nobody knows but God."
But with just 15 games remaining following the Bulls' game Thursday night with the Trail Blazers, Rose also reiterated caution for the rehab process, which has included expected pain as his activity level has increased.
"Still about the same where you warm up a little bit, be loose, then activity picks up and it gets back sore," Rose said. "It's going through that. I'm just getting used to my activity picked up a little bit. Just getting used to running, playing 5-on-5, doing everything I used to do."
Doctors medically cleared Rose for full-court scrimmaging on Feb. 18. Last May, team physician Brian Cole, who performed the surgery, said playing in games would be the final phase of Rose's rehabilitation.
As of now, Rose acknowledged the mental component and severity of the injury are keeping him sidelined.
"Bad," Rose said, when asked how much he wants to play. "But my health is the biggest key. I'm only 24 years old. I have the whole future in front of me. I'm just trying to take my time.
"When I have my teammates behind me and they see how hard I'm pushing in practice and I'm seeing how hard they're fighting for me on the court, it makes me want to be out there more too. But you have to look at the big picture."
Rose said he feels no pressure to return from the organization or the dwindling number of games remaining. Whenever he returns, he's excited to see how a game that has been widely praised by those who have seen him practicing will translate to games.
"I'm way stronger," he said. "Just seeing how I'm going to put that in my game, I don't know yet. During 5-on-5, I'm very comfortable. If anything, it's much easier because I can shoot the ball much better. Sometimes, you kind of think a little bit when I'm out there.
That's when I know I'll be ready to play, when I'm out there not thinking but reacting."
Rose said his explosion is returning, he's confident he will come back "a better player" and that he has drawn confidence seeing Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio and Knicks swingman Iman Shumpert return from tearing their ACLs. Shumpert, incidentally, remains cleared to play but told reporters he felt a "pop" in his surgically-repaired knee Wednesday.
Such are the issues involved with such a lengthy rehabilitation.
"I'm just trying to stay focused," Rose said. "Try not to listen to a lot of the people on the outside and just do my job. My job is to come in and push hard every day. My trainers have been doing a great job making sure I'm taking care of that. Just try to get out there as quickly as possible."