Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose has taken yet another step in his rehab from the ACL injury he suffered in the first round of the 2012 NBA Playoffs. Rose has yet to make his season debut for the Bulls, but the star point guard’s return to the starting lineup is getting closer. Bulls’ head coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters on Tuesday that Rose is starting to participate in some contact drills while practicing with the team.
“He’s doing what we call ‘predictable contact,’ ” Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said after Tuesday’s practice. “Obviously, you’re knowing what’s coming. ESPN Chicago
That is certainly the next step for Rose as the point guard aims to make his season debut at some point during the second half of the season. Throughout Rose’s rehab, the consensus was that his return would not be deemed close until he started participating in contact drills during practice. Before Bulls fans hold their breath over Rose’s return, they may want to read carefully into Thibodeau’s comments. The Bulls head coach indicated that Rose is participating in “predictable contact” drills. What that likely means is that Rose is taking part in drills in where the amount of contact is pre-determined. As opposed to regular contact, which of course, is not predictable. Thibodeau also told reporters that the next step in the process would be for Rose to fully participate in practice, and that would presumably be the last step before Rose is ready to make his season debut.
“So he’s handled that part great. He’s done a little one-on-one, that’s coming around, but he’s still … everyone has to be patient. The next step will be a regular practice and he hasn’t done that yet. So once he does that, you know he’s getting closer.” ESPN Chicago
There is certainly reason to be excited. There is no overlooking the fact that Rose is not only the best player on the Bulls’ roster, but he is one of the best players in the NBA. But, there still is need for patience. The Bulls have played relatively well in Rose’s absence this season, and there is no need to rush Rose back into the starting lineup. In addition, when Rose returns, it will not be at his MVP-type production level. There certainly is reason to believe that Rose will come back stronger than ever from this injury, but it’s not going to happen over night. When Rose returns, expect him to be gradually implemented in the Bulls plan with the idea of getting Rose comfortable and ready for the team’s playoff run.