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Derrick Rose travels with Bulls for first time this season

Jan 2, 2013, 10:58 AM EDT

Chicago Bulls' Derrick Rose looks on from the bench against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half of their NBA basketball game in Chicago Reuters

The timetable for Derrick Rose to return to the Bulls hasn’t changed. But his rehabilitation is progressing as expected, which is certainly encouraging.

Rose has been practicing with the team, though not fully just yet.

He still can’t take full contact at this stage, yet the fact that he’s a regular fixture now with the team is a positive sign he’s on track.

Another sign is the fact that Rose traveled with the Bulls for the team’s two-game road trip to Orlando and Miami.

From K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:

The symbolic nature of Rose’s progress from left knee surgery couldn’t be ignored on the first day of 2013. Particularly since the youngest most valuable player in league history joined his teammates for the charter flight to Orlando, his first trip this season.

“He’s doing more of practice, but he still can’t take full contact,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “There are several steps he has to go through. This is all part of the plan of bringing him back. But everybody has to be patient.”

Rose’s travel does little to change the timeline most team observers have speculated all along for his return — late February to early March.

The Bulls have managed to maintain with Rose out on the strength of their defense (latest loss to the Bobcats this week aside), and currently sit at fifth in the Eastern Conference standings.

While the timeline for Rose to return remains unchanged, remember that we’ve already had two players this season come back earlier than expected, and essentially do so as a complete surprise: Kevin Love and Dirk Nowitzki.

There are no guarantees of course that Rose will do the same, and the Bulls are in no rush to force him back. But his increased involvement with the team is exciting, if only to remind us that we’re getting that much closer to seeing him back in action.

  1. jhuck92 - Jan 2, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    I don’t think his traveling with the team to Miami is a coincidence. He’s been talking in those Adidas videos about how he had to watch the Heat win the chip, and that only pushed him harder. Come next year’s playoffs (maybe this year), Miami and Chicago are on pace to continue a heated rivalry that started in 2011.

    • blueintown - Jan 2, 2013 at 12:34 PM

      Doesn’t the other side have to win from time to time for it to be considered a rivalry?

      • lmoneyfresh - Jan 2, 2013 at 2:11 PM

        So the heat winning one playoff series against them means they win all of their matchups? That sounds legit.

      • blueintown - Jan 2, 2013 at 2:16 PM

        Yes. It means they have won all of their matchups. Do you believe this Bulls team – universally believed to be worse than the previous recent incarnations – is one Derrick Rose away from beating Miami?

      • itsthemelman82 - Jan 2, 2013 at 11:59 PM

        By the same token, the Heat new additions on the bench haven’t made them invincible. Allen & Lewis haven’t resulted in more wins. The Bulls defense AND a healthy D. Rose can contend with Miami and their 2 1/2 stars.

      • blueintown - Jan 3, 2013 at 12:10 AM

        So far the record: do you believe the current Bulls roster plus Derrick Rose would beat the Heat as currently constructed in a seven game series?

      • jhuck92 - Jan 5, 2013 at 3:03 PM

        The Heat fan base never wants to admit that their team has vulnerabilities. Every time CHI beat MIA last season (and just last night in Miami, 96-89), all I heard was “They didn’t really beat us… we beat ourselves.”

      • blueintown - Jan 5, 2013 at 3:11 PM

        No fan base ever wants to admit their team has vulnerabilities. But LBJ, Wade, and Bosh cover up vulnerabilities a lot better then Derrick Rose and a scrappy defense. I’m a Bulls fan, but Bulls/Heat isn’t a rivalry until the Bulls can beat them in the playoffs. No one cares about the regular season. Nor should they.

  2. florida727 - Jan 2, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    “Derrick Rose TRAVELS with Bulls for first time this season”

    I don’t care if he takes a charge or commits a turnover at this point :) , as long as it translates to him getting back on the court soon. Just kidding actually. I hope at this point he sits out the entire rest of the year. I’d rather have him at 100% for ALL of next year than risk damage at any point this year. They’re not going to challenge for the title this year. They will next year. Get well, DRose. Get 100% well.

    #jhuck92, totally agree with your post.

  3. glink123 - Jan 3, 2013 at 1:12 AM

    The Heat are one LBJ blown ACL away from being a lottery team. Unlike Chicago, who is likely to draw at least the number 4 seed this year, with Rose missing more than half the season. It’s gonna happen to James, eventually. His knee will blow out at some point over the next three seasons. You know it will.

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