Watching Derrick Rose‘s return to Chicago’s lineup as starting point guard can feel like seeing a glacier move. You know where it’s headed, but it’s a slow and methodical process. That’s just the reality of tearing knee ligaments for a player whose game is predicated on the slash.
Rose entered what Chicago coach Tom Thibodeau called the “next step” on Tuesday by being cleared to practice against his teammates, both the Chicago Tribune and ESPN Chicago reported from practice. He’s graduated from “predictable” contact drills into playing limited sessions with teammates where anything, supposedly can happen. From the Tribune:
“You have to remember: In practice, you’re trying to get it as close to game-like conditions as you can with the understanding that there’s nothing like a game. There’s nothing that matches that intensity. You have to make sure he can handle this intensity first and then we’ll go from there. He’s doing great. He has shown great patience. And everybody else has to show great patience.”
Rip Hamilton told ESPN that even in situations where contact is limited, Rose asks his teammates not to hold off on him. That has to be considered a good sign in his rehab even though his temperament has always suggested he doesn’t like anyone to take it easy on him.
“We didn’t do a whole lot of contact with him personally, but it’s one of them things when he’s out there he doesn’t want you to back up off of him because he wants to challenge himself. So any opportunity he’s on the floor he wants to challenge himself and see how good he is on the floor so we want to try and make him play some.”
So, how did he look? Thibodeau preached patience with his update, as he has every time new progress in the rehab is detailed by the Bulls. But judge for yourself from watching Rose’s very light warmups Monday before the Bulls played the Lakers, and see if he’s getting close enough to even attempt a return this season.
Should he play this season?
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