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Derrick Rose, Tom Thibodeau on same page about return from injury

4/13/11 Chicago Chicago Bulls - New Jersey Nets Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose (1) talks head coach Tom Thibodeau.

4/13/11 Chicago Chicago Bulls - New Jersey Nets Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose (1) talks to head coach Tom Thibodeau. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media

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TONIGHT

BULLS AT CELTICS

The facts: 6:30, CSN, 1000-AM.

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Updated: March 14, 2013 6:34AM



Derrick Rose gave a jolt to Bulls fans eagerly awaiting his return.

‘‘I’m not coming back until I’m 110 percent,’’ he told USA Today in a story published Tuesday. ‘‘Who knows when that can be? It can be within a couple of weeks. It could be next year. It could be any day. It could be any time. It’s just that I’m not coming back until I’m ready.’’

Rose, who is rehabbing after surgery in May to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, insisted on being completely recovered when he begins playing games for real. Asked how close he was to that, he said: ‘‘Right now, probably in the high 80s [percent-wise]. Far away. Far away.’’

Coach Tom Thibodeau said that comes as no surprise to the Bulls.

‘‘That’s what we’ve been saying all along,’’ he said. ‘‘There’s no change there. When he’s ready, he’ll play.’’

General manager Gar Forman echoed that sentiment.

‘‘I think we’ve been pretty consistent,’’ Forman said. ‘‘He won’t be rushed back and won’t play until he’s ready.’’

As far as the ‘‘high 80s’’ assessment, Thibodeau agreed with Rose.

‘‘Nope, nope, he’s right where he should be,’’ Thibodeau said when asked if he was concerned about Rose’s statement. ‘‘He’s right on the schedule. When he’s ready, we’ll know, and then we’ll go from there. That’s why we’ve approached it the way we have. The team has to concentrate on their improvement and their next opponent; he has to do his rehab. Then at some point he’ll rejoin us, and we’ll go from there. Nothing has changed.

‘‘If [the high 80s is] what he’s saying . . . he’s going to tell you honestly where he is. He’s just got to keep working. He’s making good progress.’’

What Thibodeau and the Bulls have said about Rose’s progress is that he has been going through full contact in practice for several weeks with no setbacks but has yet to go through five-on-five full scrimmages. Players have been brought in early for extra work, and Rose has faced off against different teammates in those situations with no setbacks.

‘‘The big thing is to understand you’re never going to get to an NBA game-like intensity in a practice,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘You’re going to strive to get as close as possible, but you’re not going to get there. We’ll know. He’s just got to keep
doing the things he’s been doing, and it’s going to work out fine.’’

Rose detailed for USA Today the kind of player he expects to be when he does return.

‘‘I know it’s going to be something good,’’ Rose said. ‘‘With all this hard work I’ve been putting into my game, I’m doing stuff I never did
before. I gained 10, 11 pounds of muscle. I don’t know what type of player I’m going to be; I just know that I’m going to be very good.’’

What the story did was raise the question of what the Bulls will be like if Rose doesn’t return this season.

Thibodeau was asked if he thought Rose would be back this season and said: ‘‘If he’s ready. To me, that’s why we’ve taken the
approach that we have. There’s no timetable; it’s when he’s ready. We’re not measuring it against somebody else’s timetable. . . . When he’s ready, he will go.’’

NOTE: Center Joakim Noah (plantar fasciitis in right foot) was limited in practice but is expected to start Wednesday against the Celtics in Boston. Guard Kirk Hinrich (infection in right elbow) will stay in Chicago and rehab.



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