Photo Credit: Daniel Popper Twitter

Photo Credit: Daniel Popper Twitter

Derrick Rose has returned… The New York Knicks point guard went AWOL Monday night, not showing up for their game against the New Orleans Pelicans, and no one seemed to know what was going on.  Tuesday, Rose showed up at Knicks practice, in uniform.  But what happened?

Knicks PR posted a photo from Knicks practice and Rose was indeed in the building, dressed in practice gear.

Knicks also tweeted that Rose received a fine (for an undisclosed amount) and he is expected to suit up for their game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday.

What’s still unclear is why Rose disappeared in the first place.

Rose contacted team officials late Monday, telling them he had a family situation and had returned to his hometown of Chicago, sources told ESPN.  The Knicks could not reach Rose prior to the game and were extremely concerned about his well-being, enough so that they sent a team staffer to check on him at his apartment, sources said.

Rose spoke with the media today following practice and said he had to be with his family and “things happen.”  Rose said he returned to Chicago because he needed to be with his mother, but it’s unclear exactly what happened.  He also said he didn’t want to pick up the phone when the Knicks called because he needed his “space” to work out the family issue.

Monday’s loss was the Knicks eighth in nine games.  They currently have a 17-21 record, sitting in 11th place in the Eastern Conference.  They’ve fallen way below expectations for this season although they briefly hit a peak as the No. 3 seed; things then quickly spiraled out of control.

Rose had been frustrated with the Knicks’ recent struggles, and Hornacek’s decision to bench him in the fourth quarter of the Milwaukee and Indiana games didn’t sit well with him.  It reportedly led to a blowup between the two after the Pacers’ game and was one of the many speculated reasons for his absence Monday.  Today, Hornacek said he and Rose have no problems and he only wished Rose contacted him because he would’ve been excused for a family issue.

Rose, 28, has averaged 17.3 points, 4.5 assists, and 3.9 rebounds in 33 games for the Knicks. He missed four games earlier in the season because of back spasms but has been relatively healthy outside of those ailments, which is different from previous seasons where he’s dealt with infamous knee issues.  Unless the Knicks resign him, Rose will be a free agent this summer.

ShayAux: Twitter || Instagram