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Derrick Rose may be back on bench by mid-January

Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler left drives against Dallas Mavericks forward Shawn Mariduring first half an NBA basketball game Chicago

Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler, left, drives against Dallas Mavericks forward Shawn Marion during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

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Updated: January 30, 2014 6:56AM



Tom Thibodeau has said several times that Derrick Rose would make a perfect NBA coach someday because he’s such a student of the game.

There has been an empty chair awaiting Rose on the bench, and Thibodeau said it will be filled in the next few weeks.

“He’s doing fine, coming along,’’ Thibodeau said Saturday. “He’s on a crutch, he’s got his brace, so I don’t want him sitting there like that [now].’’

Rose tore the meniscus in his right knee Nov. 22 after playing in only 10 regular-season games and was ruled out for the rest of the season.

He has started the rehab process and could become a fixture on the bench by mid-January.

“Well, he can lift upper-body, do all his rehab stuff, so he is starting to move around a little bit now,’’ Thibodeau said. “He can go in the pool.’’

Rose is expected to make a complete recovery from the latest injury, but all eyes will be on his next training camp to see how he deals with another comeback after major surgeries on both knees.

Lessons learned

It hasn’t appeared to be the case through the first two months but Luol Deng said the organization is being more proactive in guarding against injuries, and if that means being more safe than sorry at times, so be it.

“Yeah, I think we learned from the past,’’ said Deng (Achilles tendon), who missed the game against the Mavericks. “I think the players, too. We talk to each other. In the past, I would’ve been out there playing, then missed another month or so. And I really don’t want to do that. And the other thing is, I don’t want to keep coming in and out. I think that’s the last thing we need. We’re trying to get going.

“But, definitely, I think we’re being smarter this year.’’

Teague update

Marquis Teague made his debut Friday with the Iowa Energy of the NBA Development League, scoring 21 points on 9-for-15 shooting, handing out six assists and committing five turnovers.

How long he’ll stay with Iowa is unknown, but Thibodeau reiterated that it’s not a punishment for his inconsistency. He wants Teague to get some playing time.

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com



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