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Derrick Rose travels with Bulls, dribbles at practice

Updated: January 15, 2014 10:25PM



ORLANDO, Fla. — Derrick Rose has been ruled out from returning to the court this season, but what about the practice court?

The Bulls aren’t committing one way or the other.

“Yeah, I don’t want to speculate on that,’’ coach Tom Thibodeau said Wednesday. “He’s doing great. We just want him to go step by step. We’ll see where he is at the end of the season. Just concentrate on the rehab. That’s all we want him to do.’’

Asked if the organization had completely ruled out that scenario, especially after Rose practiced with the team much of the second half last season while he was coming back from surgery on his left knee, Thibodeau said, “I haven’t really even talked to [trainer] Fred [Tedeschi] about it. We ruled him out for the season. That’s basically the way we’re approaching that.’’

Either way, Rose was at least feeling like he was part of the team again, making his first road trip with the Bulls since his meniscus injury. He was off-limits for the media, but Thibodeau still thought it was an important step for Rose and the team.

“The crutches are gone,” Thibodeau said. “He’s been moving around a lot better. So it’s time.

“He’s doing fine [in his rehab]. He’s right where he should be. . . . He can do upper-body. He’s in the pool, stuff like that.’’

Rose actually picked up a basketball and dribbled it on the court briefly at the start of the shootaround before he was led off by director of sports performance Jen Swanson.

Basically, just another tease of what could have been.

“It’s always good to have him around,’’ Thibodeau said. “You guys don’t see him, but he’s there every day. So the players are used to having him around. Now that he doesn’t have the crutches, it’s better for him to be with us, where he can do his rehab with us and stuff like that.”

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com



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