Derrick Rose had a solid 22 points in 22 minutes. (Jonathan Daniel / AP)

Derrick Rose isn’t merely back, he’s better.

The Chicago Bulls star and 2011 NBA MVP, who missed all of the 2011-12 season after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament, looked great in a 22-point, 22-minute performance Wednesday night against the Detroit Pistons.

“I think I’m way more explosive now,” Rose said (via ESPN Chicago). “Like getting to the rim. I think I can take contact a little bit better. And as far as jumping-wise, I think I can jump even higher. They tested my vertical — I increased it by five inches. I just didn’t show it yet because there’s no need to.”

No, not in preseason. And never mind that it took Rose far longer than it took Washington Redskins star Robert Griffin III and Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson to recover from ACL surgery. Every recovery, as RGIII said, “is different” and basketball isn’t football.

“The biggest thing is after you have an ACL or any injury, it’s the mental part,” Rose said. “And for me not to think about anything no more and actually be reacting to the defense and the offense, it feels great knowing that I’m safe. I don’t have to worry about anything at all, even if I go to the hole and get contact and fall any type of way, that I could easily get up and bounce right back and play the way that I normally know how to play.”

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.