Chicago Bulls general manager Gar Forman said Derrick Rose will return to the practice floor Wednesday after he worked out for an hour -- without contact -- on Tuesday.
“He will practice tomorrow with the team and go through some of the practice, so we're cautiously optimistic that it will be pretty soon when he's back on the floor,” Forman told ESPN 1000’s “Carmen, Jurko and Harry” show Tuesday. “He's chomping at the bit. He wants to be out there, and obviously we want him out there. But at the same time, we want to be really careful with it and make sure he's ready to go before he steps on the court."
One of Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau’s requisites for Rose to return has been that he engage in a full-contact practice.
Rose has been out of action since sustaining the injury March 12 against the Knicks. The Bulls have shown resiliency, going 14-7 in games Rose has missed this season. Following Monday’s loss, however, the team is in the midst of its first two-game losing streak in 86 games.
“It was a serious injury,” Forman said. “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.”
Rose’s workout Tuesday was encouraging, Forman said. So much so that he didn’t rule out the possibility of Rose playing Thursday against the Celtics.
“Today was really his first day on the floor going full speed as far as a basketball workout, running, sliding, shooting, he was in a full lather for probably close to an hour,” Forman said. "So that was encouraging, we'll see how he feels [Wednesday], but this was the next step and hopefully we'll have a resolution pretty soon.
"[Rose playing Thursday] hasn't been taken out of play. Again, we'll see how he feels [Wednesday]. We'll see how he does during practice [Wednesday], and then we'll evaluate it at that time."
Rose is averaging 22.8 points and 8 assists per game.