Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Derrick Rose on Wednesday said he thinks he’s “a go” to make his long-anticipated return to the lineup when the Cleveland Cavaliers host the Orlando Magic at Quicken Loans Arena.

Rose was in the process of rehabbing a sprained left ankle when it was announced in late November he would be taking a leave of absence from the Cavs, allegedly to contemplate his NBA future.

The veteran point guard returned to the team a few weeks later but has yet to appear in a game, having last played in a Nov. 7 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.

A litany of injuries over the course of several seasons has derailed what once was viewed as a Hall of Fame-caliber career, leading to questions regarding not only Rose’s physical state, but his mental state as well..

In a lengthy sit-down in late December with Marc Spears of The Undefeated, Rose dismissed the notion he was seriously contemplating retirement. The 29-year-old also categorically denied he was suffering from depression.

“A lot of people think I’m depressed because of what I’m going through … It’s the total opposite,” Rose said. “I learned from my mistakes three or four years ago when I put myself into a shell. And now that I am in this position, it’s only right that I learn from the best. I’m staying with my team, staying with my family, communicating, and just being open.”

That being said, Rose said Wednesday so long as his body, in particular his left ankle, felt good Thursday, he expects to play against the Magic.

Rose was asked about his role while reintegrating himself back into the Cavs’ rotation.

“I just want to hoop,” Rose said. “I don’t care about stats.”

How much Rose can contribute to a reeling Cavaliers squad that have lost eight of 10 games and four straight remains to be seen.

Still, in light of the drama and uncertainty surrounding Rose’s lengthy absence, his return to the court is indeed encouraging.

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This article first appeared on Sportress of Blogitude and was syndicated with permission.

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