The Chicago Bulls have been dealing with questions about when Derrick Rose will be coming back all season long. As he continues to inch along, word is that he's right where they would have expected him to be at this point in his rehabilitation.
Rose has been watched with a flurry of magnifying glasses all season long, with reports coming out every time he does something new in his return to the court.
He's yet to practice in full scrimmages with the team, but Rose is running drills, running, jumping, shooting and doing pretty much everything but participating in five-on-five work during practice.
When asked about Rose's progression, Tom Thibodeau's words seem about as vague, yet optimistic as they have been all season long: "He’s right where he should be."
Where that is still seems to be very much up in the air. We've heard no word about whether he's two weeks away, ready to go after the All-Star break, or if he's still going to be working his way back into shape after the trade deadline passes.
The Bulls are making no attempt to rush Rose back, which makes complete sense as there is still plenty of time left in the season for Rose to work his way back into shape and get ready for the playoffs. Plus, the Bulls are playing well enough to keep the team from panicking.
When I feel like he’s [ready to go], when our organization feels like he’s ready to go, when he feels like he’s ready to go, he’ll go. But he’s not going to be measured against anyone else’s timetable other than his own. And we’ll know when it’s right.
He’s in constant communication with the doctor, so that’s the hurdle he has to get over, and everyone has to feel good about it.
Basically, Rose is going to be back when Rose is back.
As far as practicing goes, Thibodeau knows that his team works hard in practice, but there's going to be no substitute for him actually playing games, whenever that may happen: "I like to think that we’re a good practice team, but I also have the understanding that no matter what we’re doing in practice, it’s never going to be the same as a game."
We're all going to have to just sit and wait until there's some actual timetable set for his return. Until then, if you've got tickets to a Bulls game after the All-Star break, keep your fingers crossed that we get some big news before then.