Derrick Rose

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook said Thursday he believed his friend and summer workout partner Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose would return a stronger player when he returns from his ACL injury.

Rose tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during Game 1 of a first-round playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers last season and had surgery May 12. Typically the recovery time after the surgery is eight to 12 months.

“Definitely, he’ll be stronger, definitely be a lot better after seeing him this summer, seeing how quickly he was getting better and better,” Westbrook said prior to Thursday’s game with the Bulls. “No doubt in my mind he will. He works hard at what he does, and he’ll definitely come back better determined and come back and try to be better.”

– Reported by Scott Powers of ESPN Chicago