Rose progresses amid return speculation

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Another day with no clarity when it comes to Derrick Rose's return, unless making even more progress in practice is a sign of optimism.

“Nothing has changed,” Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said after practice Sunday, when asked to give the latest update on his injured point guard.

Thibodeau said Rose went through the entire practice Sunday in preparation for Monday’s game against the Denver Nuggets. It’s the first of three consecutive home games for the Bulls after a three-game trip to California.

Rose’s teammates continue to offer rave reviews of his ability to play when the doors are closed and nobody from the outside is allowed to watch.

“He’s working hard, man, he’s working hard,” Joakim Noah said. “It’s good to see him. He’s moving right and doing all the right things. It feels good to see him like that.”

Speculation that Rose might return Monday snowballed in recent days when Comcast SportsNet moved the Bulls-Nuggets to their main channel while sending the Chicago Blackhawks-Colorado Avalanche game to Comcast Sports Net Plus.

That decision seems to have been less about Rose than the fact that the Bulls game will start an hour earlier than the Blackhawks game.

It doesn’t take much these days for the Rose speculation to take on a life of its own, but Thibodeau certainly won’t fuel the rumors.

“He keeps improving, he still has a ways to go,” Thibodeau said.

Thibodeau has heard all the speculation that Rose could come back during the upcoming three games. After Denver on Monday the Bulls play host to the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday and the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.

“I’m not going to get into that,” he said. “When he’s ready, he’s ready. He’s got to keep working, that’s all.”