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Derrick Rose taking full contact in practice as return nears

Jan 30, 2013, 2:54 PM 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

From here, it’s just a matter of time — getting him reps, getting his conditioning back up. It may be a few weeks still, but his return is getting close.

Derrick Rose is now taking full contact in practices, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Wednesday. Thibs is not exactly forthcoming about anything Rose (or, really anything at all), but he was asked a direct question and gave a direct answer Wednesday as the Bulls prepared to take on the Milwaukee Bucks.


“He’s full contact, yeah,” Thibodeau said before Wednesday’s morning shootaround as the Bulls prepared to face the Milwaukee Bucks….

“He can do all the cutting, he can do shooting, he can go off the dribble,” Thibodeau said. “So it’s just a matter of him getting acclimated to playing in a game situation.

“You have to understand that in practice you’re striving to get as close to a game-like intensity as you can, but you also have to understand that you’re not going to be able to get there, so that will be a whole different level. And we have to make sure that he’s ready to handle that intensity.”

Rose’s return still isn’t expected until after the All-Star break.

The Bulls are 27-17 and the three seed in the East right now, without Rose. They are doing it with the third best defense in the NBA and the 21st best offense.

But with Rose back the offense should improve. What’s more, Thibodeau told Aggrey Sam of the team should see a new energy from his return, just from having Rose at practice.

“When you see your star player out and working as hard as he is to get back, it’s extra motivation. And it puts things in perspective, how lucky we are to be playing. I know there’s nothing he wants more.”

  1. mistercharitystripe34 - Jan 30, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    As a Bulls fan, I cant wait. His return coupled with the emergence of Jimmy Butler makes this team that much more dangerous.

    • lmoneyfresh - Jan 30, 2013 at 6:04 PM

      As much as it pains me to say as a fan, Rose going down may very well be one of the best things to happen to the Bulls. Without Rose, many of the guys who stood and watched the last year or two have been forced to step up their offensive game in his absence. Boozer, Butler, Deng and Noah are all better players than they were last year and some the year before.

      The biggest thing though is can Rose get some chemistry going with Boozer when he comes back to maintain Booz’s effectiveness. He’s playing like the Booz of old (minus some of the old vertical) and he needs to be able to play with Rose for this team to take the next step towards a title.

      • eventhorizon04 - Jan 30, 2013 at 6:25 PM

        I disagree.
        With a healthy Derrick Rose, the Bulls would have beaten the Philadelphia 76’ers in round 1 last year, probably would have beaten the injured Boston Celtics in round 2, and might have beaten the Miami Heat last year in the ECF.

        With the injury, that became a lost post-season with a first-round exit.
        It’s also unknown how well Rose will play this year given that Ricky Rubio has looked far less than 100% so far after a similar injured, so 2013 could be a second lost post-season due to this injury.

      • lmoneyfresh - Jan 30, 2013 at 6:49 PM

        You may be right, but I don’t think the bulls beat the heat last year, even with rose. Too many players were dinged up. Plus Noah was done with the ankle injury too.

        And you could very well be right about Rose coming back this season too, its entirely possible that Rose won’t be back to 100% before the playoffs, but this team has shown it can beat anybody even without Rose so there won’t be any pressure for him to be at or close to 100% right away. He can ease back into things.

      • chitownmatt - Jan 31, 2013 at 12:53 PM

        Most people don’t remember that Noah turned his ankle severely in the very next game after Rose.

        If Noah was healthy they probably would have put away the 76’ers even without Rose.

        Anyway, thats all just pointless speculation.

        The Bulls are a solid team right now; put a healthy D-Rose in that mix and they become what they were last year… the best team in the NBA. (Based solely on regular season W/L. lol.)

  2. 8nflfan7 - Jan 30, 2013 at 3:19 PM

    @ mistercharitystripe34 ..,you still have to see if hes gna be same as b4. dnt get get me i likes rose idk man

    • helinhater - Jan 30, 2013 at 4:04 PM

      C’mon son. Writing like that took you more effort than being grammatically correct would.

  3. brotherlove2012 - Jan 30, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    I just hope he hasn’t lost the step that set him apart from regular humans … I’m anxious to see if he lost some of the jumping ability and quickness that he had before his injury. Looking at John Wall, I think I can be optimistic about it, but we never know.

    • helinhater - Jan 30, 2013 at 4:05 PM

      Or Adrian Peterson…or RG3 (prior to the most recent ACL tear he’d already torn it once).

      He should be fine if he’s followed his doctor’s orders.

      • borderline1988 - Jan 30, 2013 at 4:38 PM

        AP’s recovery is a freaking miracle. That kind of quick recovery is probably unrealistic for Rose, especially considering basketball (on the surface) seems harder on the knees than football.

  4. rj2323 - Jan 30, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    Ya baby Leggo

  5. mannchise - Jan 30, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    #BullsNation !!!!!
    Dont count us out yet!

  6. drago2012 - Jan 30, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    As a Bull fan and a season ticked holder , i am more excited about Jimmy Butlers progress on the offensive end then Roses return. So many options when Jimmy scores. He can play 4 spots on the team as of now. He is rebounding better then a power forward. Roses return will be icing on the cake. We will bury Miami heat in the playoffs.

  7. Gordon - Jan 30, 2013 at 7:04 PM

    Not sure if the Bulls would have beaten the Heat last year, but that would have been one hell of a series to watch.

  8. asublimeday - Jan 30, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    Can everyone who scoffed admit I was right that this is a great team even without Rose and that this wasn’t the throwaway season everyone else said it would be?

    I’m waiting.

    • southbeachtalent - Jan 31, 2013 at 10:33 AM

      They were a great team last year as well…

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