Derrick Rose is inching closer to a return, and he’s about to make a major leap forward in the process.
According to Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, coach Tom Thibodeau has divulged that the star point guard has already participated in one-on-one drills and controlled practice. If that goes well, he will soon be in regular practice with full contact.
This is great news for the Chicago Bulls, but they must continue to forge forward without the superstar in the lineup. Thibs put it all in perspective by saying they must still be patient (per Cowley):
We’ve got to feel good about this. The most important thing is he’s got to feel good about it. It’s the type of injury that you have to be patient, and he’s handling his part great. He’s upbeat, he’s doing his rehab daily, and that’s his entire focus.’
The third-year coach is doing his best to guide the Bulls in Rose’s extended absence, and has done an admirable job—going 19-13 and allowing just 91.5 points per game.
Unfortunately, his squad has a major scoring deficiency—averaging just 93.3 PPG—and that will not improve until D-Rose is back in the lineup. However, Thibs knows that rushing the former MVP back will only set the franchise back in the long term.
The coach is reportedly “adamant” about not skimping on the rehabilitation process and wants Rose to feel 100 percent comfortable before easing his way back onto the active roster. No matter how badly the team needs their PG’s transcendent scoring ability, it’s not worth it to speed up the process while risking his health.
How will the Bulls fare when Rose returns?
Chicago looks like a playoff-bound squad as is, with Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah and the rest of the supporting cast carrying the slack.
The unit has been inconsistent—evidenced by a 10-point loss to the lowly Bobcats and seven-point victory over the Heat within a span of five days early in the year—but solid overall and should be just fine waiting for Rose to get 100 percent healthy.
It will be a milestone when he finally returns to contact practice and a sign that he’s nearly ready; and we’re looking forward to seeing the young man back on the court sooner than later.