<
>

Thibs preaches patience for Rose's return

DEERFIELD, Ill. – Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau reiterated Sunday that Derrick Rose's progress from ACL surgery remains on track, but everyone needs to be patient for his return to game action.

Rose tore the ACL in his left knee on April 28 and underwent surgery on May 12 and doctors said his recovery would take 8-12 months. He began taking full contact in practice in late January.

“We just want to make sure he’s ready to go, but he’s right on schedule,” Thibodeau said after Sunday’s practice at the Berto Center. “This is what we had planned all along. Just want to be smart. He’s got to continue to focus on his rehab.

“He’s putting a lot of time into basketball and (let’s) have the team concentrate on their improvement and our next opponent, and when he’s ready, he’s ready. We’re not going to say it’s going be this day or that day. That’s just not the way we’re going to do it. When he’s ready, he’ll go.”

Rose was among the final players to leave the court on Sunday. He performed individual shooting drills and worked on driving and shooting in the lane against a defender for an additional 20-plus minutes after practice.

Thibodeau admitted one of the obstacles of getting Rose ready for a game was simulating an actual game in practice.

“I like to think we’re a good practice team, but also have the understanding that no matter what we’re doing in practice it’s never going to be quite the same as a game,” Thibodeau said. “You’re striving to get it as close to a game-like intensity as you can. But you also have to understand you’re not going to get it there.”

Thibodeau said the final decision on when Rose returns will be a collective one.

“When our organization feels like he’s ready to go, when he feels like he’s ready to go, he’ll go,” Thibodeau said. “He’s not being measured against anyone else’s timetable other than his own. We’ll know when it’s right.

“He’s in constant communication with the doctors. That’s the hurdle he has to get over. Everyone has to feel good about it. Everyone has to remain patient.”