Chicago Sun-Times

Rose set for full-contact in practices this week?

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97036050_display_image.jpgTom Thibodeau never likes to show his hand.
Never.
But before Monday night's game with the Lakers, it was time for the Bulls head coach to show his ace. Well, at least start allowing his ace to get beat up a little bit in practice.
With just two away games in the next 10 days and a lot of control of the practice schedule in that time, Thibodeau acknowledged that is was time for star Derrick Rose to take the final step in the rehab from May surgery on a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, and go all out in practices, full contact and all.
"Very close, very close, that's the next step,'' Thibodeau said.
When asked if "very close'' could mean this week, he responded, "Yeah ... it could.''
When then asked if it was scheduled to take place this week, he again said, "It could.''
That's as far as Thibodeau would go with it, but considering the heavy road schedule that the Bulls have to endure the first two weeks of February, it only makes sense to let Rose go all out in the comforts of the Berto Center with the organization able to have as many eyes as possible watching him closely.
"He has to go through [full contact practices] for an extended amount of time,'' Thibodeau said. "It's not going to be, OK one or two days of contact and he's going to be out there. That's not going to happen. Be patient, everyone has to be patient.
"He's doing his part, he's showing great patience, everyone else has to. He's got to focus on the rehab, our guys have to focus on improvement, and then when he's ready, whenever that is, that's when comes back. Not earlier than when he's ready, not later, and our doctors have been on top of it from Day 1. Everyone has to show patience.''
Thibodeau was asked if he's been able to show patience, especially with a disappointing 11-11 record before hosting the Lakers, and numerous losses this season where the Bulls looked to be just a superstar away in the fourth quarter.
"I like our team,'' Thibodeau insisted. "You guys [the media], I guess you guys don't believe me, but I believe we have more than enough. If we do the right things I think we're capable of beating anybody anywhere.
"We have to continue to do that, and I still think we have a lot of room for growth. We went through a half a season last year without Derrick, but the big thing is like I've said is you begin with the end in mind, and for us we want to be playing great basketball at the end of the season and we want to be as healthy as possible. For Derrick, keep handling the rehab, listen to what our doctors have to say, and then we go from there.''
Not only were the Bulls one star down in the game with Los Angeles, but actually two, as Luol Deng was still sidelined with a strained right hamstring, missing his second consecutive game. Deng was unable to participate in the morning shootaround, so it was not a surprise that Jimmy Butler started in his place.

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This page contains a single entry by Joe Cowley published on January 21, 2013 9:09 PM.

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