Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose returned to "full contact" practice recently in the latest step of his recovery from a torn ACL, Nick Friedell of ESPN Chicago reports. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau revealed the good news on Wednesday, indicating that the guard is no longer physically limited in any way by his knee.
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"He can do all the cutting, he can do shooting, he can go off the dribble. So it's just a matter of him getting acclimated to playing in a game situation," Thibodeau said.
The Bulls have consistently maintained that Rose won't return to the court until doctors have fully assured the team he's ready to go, which explains the lack of an established timetable. Most likely, Rose will return soon after the All Star weekend in mid-February, giving him a few weeks of "full contact" practices to get back to playing in game situations.
"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," Thibodeau said.
The Bulls are currently third in the Eastern Conference with a 27-17 record despite Rose's absence.