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Derrick Rose takes next step with knee rehab

Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose smiles as he works out with team before an NBA basketball game between Chicago

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

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Updated: January 22, 2013 3:35PM



It would be nice if the Derrick Rose updates would be wheeled out on one big platter for all to consume.

Not in the world of Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau.

It’s a morsel here, a crumb there. Then it’s almost as if Thibodeau stands back and takes joy in the frenzy it causes.

The latest?

Rose took the next step on Tuesday, moving from “predictable contact’’ to “more contact.’’ What does “more’’ mean? Well, considering it was a light practice in the first place for the Bulls, it’s tough to judge.

What Thibodeau did admit was that it was a step forward, as Rose continues the road back from May surgery to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

“He did a little bit more,’’ Thibodeau said. “He was taking on some contact, he’s doing fine.’’

When asked if it was the “predictable contact’’ he had been seeing for the last few weeks, the coach responded, “No, he’s been cleared for more contact, so we went to the next step [Tuesday].’’

Practice details are on the same level as national security secrets as far as Thibodeau is concerned, so it wasn’t like he was going to go blow-by-blow of who guarded Rose in practice and did they do their best to rough him up.

“It’s going to be awhile,’’ Thibodeau reiterated. “It’s the next step in the rehab, so everyone has to be patient. He’s doing fine, he’s playing more, he’s practicing more, so he’s doing well. We want him to concentrate on his rehab, and the team concentrate on improvement and our next opponent. Nothing has changed.’’

The Bulls do have the advantage of a lot of home games leading into February, so if there was a time to throw Rose into the fire it would be now because of how they can control the environment at the Berto Center.

According to Thibodeau, Rose will now be looked at again Wednesday morning, the team will assess where he is physically as he takes on more, and then they will either push forward and slow things down.

“That’s a big part of [it], and you have to remember in practice you’re trying to get it as close to a game-like condition as you can with the understanding that there’s nothing like a game, there’s nothing that matches that intensity,’’ Thibodeau said. “You strive to get it there, but it’s different. So you have to make sure that he can handle this intensity first, and then we’ll go from there. But he’s doing great, he’s shown great patience, and everyone else has to show great patience.’’

Which doesn’t seem to be a problem for Rose’s teammates.

“We know it’s going to take time,’’ veteran guard Rip Hamilton said after the practice. “We just kind of allowed Derrick to do him. It was good just to see him out on the floor, moving around, getting a little contact and things like that, but with us we just want him to take his time.’’

What Hamilton did say was that Rose has made it known that he doesn’t want anyone in practice playing him soft because he is coming off the injury.

“It’s one of those things where when he’s out there, he doesn’t want you to back up off of him,’’ Hamilton said. “He wants to challenge himself. Any opportunity he has on the floor he wants to challenge himself and see where he is. So you want to try and make him play some.’’



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