Thibs: Rose in good spirits during rehab

MEMPHIS -- Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose is in 'good spirits' as he continues his rehab from a torn ACL, head coach Tom Thibodeau said before Monday morning's shootaround.

The 24-year-old point guard has been doing more and more with his teammates, including walk-throughs before practice and taking jumpers before games at the United Center. Thibodeau acknowledges that Rose is still 'a ways away' from a return, but he is happy with Rose's progress.

"He's doing fine," Thibodeau said. "He still has a ways to go but overall he's doing very well, good spirits, coming along, it's step by step. It's the type of injury that you have to be very patient with, but he's coming along well."

Rose still isn't traveling with the Bulls as he continues different phases of his rehab, but Thibodeau expects that to change once he starts doing more work in practice. For now, Rose has been doing more running and shooting work, but he remains upbeat about his recovery.

In the meantime, Bulls guard Rip Hamilton continues to rehab the torn plantar fascia in his left foot. The veteran, who missed 38 games last season and has missed seven games and counting this year, said he's happy with his progress but hasn't started running yet.

"It's getting better," Hamilton said. "Every day it's improving. Really no setbacks and things like that so (I'm) just kind of on schedule, trying to get back on the floor ... If I can get back earlier that's what we're striving for, but the good thing about it is we're heading in the right direction."

Veteran guard Kirk Hinrich, who missed the last two games because of a bruised left knee, is expected to start against the Grizzlies.