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Derrick Rose: ‘I’m not worried about my knee anymore’

Updated: July 31, 2014 10:02PM

LAS VEGAS — Derrick Rose said at the beginning of the week that his confidence was sky-high. He wasn’t exaggerating.

When asked Thursday where he was on a scale of one to 10, he said 11 without hesitation.

“I’m back,’’ Rose said. “I’m not worried about my knee anymore. I got three days [of practice with Team USA] under my belt, and I’m just trying to keep playing hard and improve every day.’’

He has done more than just improve. Rose has been the talk of the camp. There have been daily scrimmages, but the spotlight will shine Friday in a nationally televised intrasquad game.

It will be his first “real’’ game since Nov. 22, when he tore the meniscus in his right knee, so it would be human nature for Rose to be pumped up for it, but this is a self-proclaimed different guy.

“The same way like I’ve been doing here,’’ Rose said about his approach in the intrasquad game. “I’m not going to force anything. Just play the way I normally play. Push the ball and put pressure on the defense. Defensively, try to pick up full-court so I can get my wind back.’’

That’s all Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, an assistant for Team USA, wants to see.

“Same thing,’’ Thibodeau said. “Keep going step by step. He hasn’t had any setbacks. He feels real good. Each day he has gotten more comfortable. He’s playing well on both sides of the ball, and each day he’s finding a better and better rhythm.

“His approach is much better this time around. Obviously, he’s a lot more patient. He’s found a good rhythm in the game. He’s not forcing things, and the way he’s playing, he makes the game easy for everybody.

“Just build on what he’s doing. Run the team, play well on both sides of the ball. Just keep improving.’’

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