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Derrick Rose is dunking again, taking some contact in practice

Jan 9, 2013, 3:13 PM EDT

Derrick Rose AP

Everyone near the Bulls still says the plan is to be patient. Don’t rush Derrick Rose back. Think more like the All-Star Game timeframe.

Still, there are positive signs.

Like the report in the Sun-Times that Derrick Rose is dunking again.

Aside that, he is taking what the team calls “predictable contact” in practice. Of course, the way the Bulls Jimmy Butler described it, to Aggrey Sam of CSNChicago.com, things are pretty hands off with Rose — and he is looking good.

“Everything!” exclaimed Jimmy Butler, when asked about pleasant surprises observed during Rose’s rehabilitation from ACL surgery. “I think it’s all a blessing and it’s just great to see him out there, jumping and shooting jump shots, and moving the way that he does. Who knows if he comes back and has a start like Adrian Peterson did? That’s crazy.”

“We definitely don’t want to get him hurt again, so if he’s going to the cup, let him go. Open ‘J,’ contest it, but don’t let him come down any wrong way. Playing smart basketball, but at the same time, we know—and that goes for anybody—don’t undercut anybody,” Butler explained. “Things that basketball players do with their teammates. As far as he goes, he’s continuing to go hard, that’s for sure.”

Peterson may be a little optimistic. But the Bulls with even 80 percent of Rose become a real tough out come the playoffs. And that may be the best plan in Chicago right now.

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