DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose participated fully in practice on Wednesday and took contact for the first time since suffering a groin injury on March 12, according to coach Tom Thibodeau.
Rose has a chance to face the Boston Celtics on Thursday.
"Yeah, he does," Thibodeau said. "But again, it's been great. He's been patient, he's done a great job with his rehab. Each day he's done more and more. He's feeling better and better, and so we'll see how he feels (Thursday). He did quite a bit (Tuesday), and he did more today, so it's very encouraging, but we'll see where he is (Thursday).
"I'm an optimist. I always believe it could happen, so that's the way I think. I get around you guys, then I think it won't happen."
Rose was unsure of his status for Thursday.
"I really don't know," he said. "I felt good, but me playing (Thursday) I don't know. I'm able to run a little bit more, but not at my top speed.
"Definitely (the pain is better). I'm running, able to move a little bit more now, so I'm getting healthy."
Rose has missed the last 11 games since suffering the injury when Jeremy Lin blocked his shot.
"It was a serious injury," general manager Gar Forman said Tuesday on "The Carmen, Jurko & Harry Show" on ESPN 1000. "When we took the MRI, there was some fluid build-up. We knew it was probably going to take a while, but different guys heal from different injuries at different speeds. You never know. The positive again is he has never taken a step back. The process has been good, and hopefully we'll have him back either later this week or into next week."
The Bulls didn't practice Tuesday, but Rose worked out on his own.
Rose has missed 21 games with a variety of injuries, including turf toe and back spasms. The Bulls are 14-7 during that time.
"Taking three weeks off, or two weeks off, however (many) I took off, my conditioning is definitely a worry, but in basketball you should be able to fight through it," Rose said. "This is my first time ever having this injury, where usually people after they have it, they don't have it anymore, but my biggest thing is coming back too quick and re-injuring it again."
Aside from Rose being back on the floor, the other good news for the Bulls was that Richard Hamilton went through the entire practice and is feeling better. He injured his shoulder March 5 against the Indiana Pacers.
"The pain that I have in it was just from not doing anything for so long," Hamilton said. "And just the wear and tear of the game, putting my arm in different positions and things like that. It was all expected. I expected to feel the pain I felt the last two days, but it didn't limit me from practice or anything like that."
Hamilton admitted that he is worried most about getting his timing back.
"That's going to take time," he said. "That was my biggest concern. My biggest concern wasn't my conditioning because I feel as though I can run all day. My biggest concern was my timing, getting a rhythm and things like that, just getting strength in my arm. I get fatigue in my arm just from not using it, but just getting strength back in it."
Hamilton is happy to see all his teammates back on the floor together for their first workout with full participation since he got hurt. Hamilton, who wore a big ice pack on his shoulder after practice, is looking forward to playing with Rose again and doesn't believe the meshing with his backcourt mate will be difficult.
"Easy," Hamilton said. "He does so many great things on the floor that can get me so many wide open baskets. I think in the past and pretty much my whole career, just working so hard, my team looked at me to lead the team in scoring every game, and now I'm in a situation where I can just get to spots. Derrick's going to create, Derrick's going to make plays to make my job a lot easier so I can get a lot of wide open shots and things like that."
Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.