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Injured Bulls guard Derrick Rose ‘right where he should be’

Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose works out with team before an NBA basketball game between Bulls AtlantHawks Monday Jan. 14

Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose works out with the team before an NBA basketball game between the Bulls and the Atlanta Hawks on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, in Chicago. No date has been announced for his return to the lineup. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

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Should Derrick Rose return to the Bulls by the end of this month?




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Updated: February 11, 2013 2:12PM



Bulls star Derrick Rose’s surgically repaired left knee continued to pass the eye test after practice Sunday. He went through a series of shooting drills while the rest of his teammates left the court at the Berto Center.

His right hook looked even better, as he punched a basketball into the rafters in anger after missing several shots.

It’s still all eyes on Rose from a media standpoint and a lot of ‘‘nothing to see here’’ from coach Tom Thibodeau’s standpoint.

‘‘He’s right where he should be,’’ Thibodeau said when asked if Rose had made any strides in his rehabilitation.

So Rose is taking full contact but still isn’t over the final hurdle of full-court five-on-five scrimmages yet.

‘‘We haven’t done anything full court [in practice],’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘We have an early group that comes in. We get some work done there, so we feel like we have enough to get the things done that we want to get done, so he’s doing fine.’’

Once Rose starts doing full-court five-on-five scrimmages, all that remains will be making sure the knee passes the tests the next day with no setbacks.

Even then, Thibodeau warned there is no way to simulate the intensity of a live NBA game, so communication among all parties will be vital.

‘‘I like to think that we’re a good practice team, but I also have the understanding that no matter what we’re doing in practice, it’s never going to be the same as a game,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘He’s right on schedule. This is what we’ve had planned all along, so just want to be smart.’’

But if Rose is ‘‘right on schedule,’’ then there must be a schedule for him to be right on. That also means there has to be a tentative return date. Very little is obvious, however, about that return.

‘‘Yeah, he’s on his schedule for his rehab,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘When I feel like he’s [ready to go], when our organization feels like he’s ready to go, when he feels like he’s ready to go, he’ll go. But he’s not going to be measured against anyone else’s timetable other than his own. And we’ll know when it’s right.’’

Thibodeau said Rose would have a vote about when he returns, but it’s a vote that seems to come with checks and balances.

‘‘Does he get a vote? Yeah, obviously,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘He’s in constant communication with the doctor, so that’s the hurdle he has to get over, and everyone has to feel good about it.’’

Rose’s health is the biggest question mark on the table, but it’s not the only one. Guard Kirk Hinrich (infected right elbow) likely will remain out for the game Monday against the San Antonio Spurs, and center Joakim Noah (plantar fasciitis in right foot) and swingman Marco Belinelli (sore right ankle) skipped practice Sunday, leaving them as game-time decisions.

A concern for Noah is whether his injury will keep him from playing in the All-Star Game next Sunday.

‘‘I mean, it’s not that important, but it’s something that I want to do,’’ Noah said. ‘‘There’s obviously a bigger picture than the All-Star Game.

‘‘It’s frustrating because I want to be out there at practice, be out there with my teammates. I’ve just got to do what’s right.’’



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