July 23, 2014
Conversations about Derrick Rose over the past two years have involved a bit of semantics.
The latest came Monday, as the injured point guard was more active, at least as far as the media could see.
There were drills in which Rose’s repaired right meniscus was tested, from jab steps to backpedaling.
So when coach Tom Thibodeau was asked if Rose was getting closer to practicing, well, start the Thibodeau-speak.
“Basically, about the same,’’ Thibodeau said. “He’s doing a little bit more running now. He’s still nowhere near ready to practice. But he’s doing well. His spirit is strong. His body feels good. Just keep concentrating on the rehab, be a great teammate. That’s what he’s doing.’’
So if he’s ruled out for a return to the court this season, does that mean he’s ruled out of returning to practice?
“We’ll see where we are at the end of the year if he gets cleared to practice,’’ Thibodeau said. “But there’s no timetable on that. Just put everything you have into each and every day with the rehab, get stronger. We want to make sure he’s completely healthy before he moves forward.’’
So he could practice?
“I don’t want to even speculate,’’ Thibodeau said. “If he can, he will. He’s not close right now.’’
While most Bulls fans are tired of the Rose speculation, they need not be concerned about this season. It’s not happening and never was since he tore the meniscus on Nov. 22. What is important for the Bulls and Rose, however, is getting him ready for next season.
A source told the Sun-Times in January that Rose was on schedule to be ready for USA Basketball at the World Cup of Basketball, and Rose has indicated on several occasions that playing in late July with that team was important to him.
“If my leg is feeling healthy and I’m there, I’m all in,’’ Rose said four weeks ago about Team USA. “Of course I want to play for that team. Playing for that team [in the summer of 2010], I think it helped the year I won MVP, just getting in a groove. So I’m excited if I am able to play in it.’’
That first step will be practicing with the team, and that’s why all eyes continue to be on when — and if — that will happen.