Derrick Rose did everything required of him in Wednesday's practice at the Berto Center and could return from a groin injury when the Bulls host the Celtics tonight (8:30 p.m. tipoff). It seems more likely, however, that his comeback will come against the Knicks in New York on Sunday or when the two teams meet again at the United Center on April 10.
Rose said he wasn't able to run at top speed but both coach Tom Thibodeau and Rip Hamilton were impressed after he participated in a limited-contact workout.
"On Derrick's bad days he's still a 10," Hamilton said when asked to rate Rose's explosiveness on a scale of 1-10. "He possess all the attributes. When he's 100 percent he's way over 10. Him not full speed is still faster than 98 percent of the league."
Rose admits he's not in game shape after missing 11 games with what general manager Gar Forman has described as a "major" groin injury but he doesn't believe that will be a major obstacle.
"I really don't know," Rose said when asked if he would recover fully or would be forced to play in pain for the rest of the season. "This is my first time ever having this injury. Usually people, after they have it, they don't have it anymore, but my biggest thing is coming back too quick and re-injuring it again."
Hamilton also participated in the team's 90-minute practice after making his return from a prolonged absence with a shoulder injury in Monday night's loss to the Rockets. The veteran said he's looking forward to spending some quality time on the court with Rose. Both players have endured injury-plagued seasons.
"He does so many great things on the floor that can get me so many wide-open baskets," Hamilton said of Rose. "Pretty much my whole career my team looked at me to lead the team in scoring every game. Now I'm in a situation where I can get to spots. Derrick is going to create. Derrick is going to make plays to make my job a lot easier."