According to Chris Broussard of ESPN, Rose looked mighty healthy after his first five-on-five practice since suffering the devastating ACL tear last postseason:
Eyewitness at D Rose's first 5-on-5 practice Monday said Rose looks "ready to go." Said Rose looks like he's able to play in games.— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) February 20, 2013
The timetable for Rose's return has been a mystery the entire season. Some have him pegged as a possible late-season addition, while Rose himself has stated he may not return at all this season.
Here is what Rose had to say of his status just one week ago, per Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today:
"I don't have a set date," Rose told USA TODAY Sports on Monday in his first extensive interview since the 2012-13 NBA season began. "I'm not coming back until I'm 110%. Who knows when that can be? It can be within a couple of weeks. It could be next year. It could be any day. It could be any time. It's just that I'm not coming back until I'm ready."
So, clearly Rose and the Bulls are in no way expecting his return this season, but that could change after such a positive practice for the star point guard.
Without Rose, the Bulls have done an incredible job this 2012-13 campaign. Chicago sports a 31-22 record and currently stands as the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference.
All of this has been accomplished by the Bulls sans their best scorer and as a result of great defense. If the Bulls can get their MVP back soon, that would be a huge boost for the squad.
Chicago clearly has the goods on the defensive end to be a major player in the playoffs, but it lacks that scoring punch only Rose can provide. Once the 24-year-old is inserted back into Tom Thibodeau's lineup, Chicago will instantly become one of the NBA's best.
That is evident by the Bulls' 62-20 record during the 2010-11 season, and their 50-16 mark last season with Rose in the lineup for only 39 games.
Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng have all done a great job trying to fill the void during Rose's absence, but, again, adding Rose to the mix will turn the Bulls from a solid playoff team to an NBA Finals contender virtually overnight.