Thibodeau confirms Rose's increased participation

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Thibodeau confirms Rose's increased participation

DEERFIELD, ILL.A day after Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio made his season debutapproximately nine months after ACL surgeryBulls head coach Tom Thibodeau was posed with the inevitable question about Derrick Roses rehabilitation progress after the teams practice Sunday afternoon at the Berto Center. While the coach was willing to share some information about Roses recovery, he wouldnt go as far as to compare the Bulls superstar with the Minnesota playmaker.
I dont think it has really anything to do with Derrick because I think each guy is different and separate, but Im happy to see it for him. Ricky Rubio is a terrific player and you hate to see anybody go down with that type of injury, so Im glad that hes back. I think itll be a big plus for Minnesota, Thibodeau said. Derricks doing fine. Just got to be patient. Hes just got to keep doing the things that hes doing.
Rubio scored eight points and dished out nine assists off the bench in the Timberwolves win Saturday night, but it should be noted that the Spaniards game is far less explosive than Roses. Still, Thibodeau did admit that its a positive sign that the second-year point guard played at a high level in his first game since March.
I think youre seeing more and more of that. Different players, the way medicine is today, you see guys fully recover, come back, in some cases, even better than they were before the injury, so youve just got to be patient, he said. Its an injury that takes time and hopefully everything works out.
Perhaps a more apt comparison for Rose than Rubiooutside of optimists invoking the name of another Minnesota professional athlete, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who is poised to have a record-setting campaign in the wake of his own ACL recoveryis another Chicago-area native, Knicks guard Iman Shumpert.
Shumpert, a second-year pro from nearby Oak Park, Ill., tore his ACL on the same day as Rose on Apr. 28, and while there are lower stakes for New Yorkthe Knicks are leading the Eastern Conference at the moment, have depth at Shumperts position and are obviously less reliant on him to be the future of their franchisehe has similar athleticism to Rose and according to both reports and a source close to the player, he is targeting January or February for his return to the court.
Of course, each player recovers at his own pace, each injury is different and Roses value to the Bulls affects the organizations cautiousness. Thibodeau wouldnt commit to when Rose, who is very visible while doing conditioning or shooting drills after practices at the Berto Center and before games at the United Center, when return to practice or begin sitting on the bench during games, but he did reveal that the All-Star point guard is participating in the teams pre-practice early group sessions, as was previously reported by CSNChicago.com.
Once he starts doing more in practice, then hell be with us more. But right now, the focus still has to be on his rehab and the things that he needs to do. Hes got to a lot of things off the court still. Hes doing more and more on the court, which is encouraging. But hes still a ways away, Thibodeau explained. Hes still a ways away from that, the actual practice stuff.

WATCH: Blackhawks play Blues in NHL 17 ahead of Winter Classic showdown

WATCH: Blackhawks play Blues in NHL 17 ahead of Winter Classic showdown

For the third time since the event was created, the Blackhawks will participate in the Winter Classic, facing the St. Louis Blues on Jan. 2, 2017.

To build some hype for the Central Division showdown, which will feature two teams that find themselves battling for the top seed in the Western Conference, Ryan Hartman and Trevor van Riemsdyk of the Blackhawks squared off with Joel Edmundson and Robby Fabbri of the Blues in EA Sports' NHL 17.

[SHOP: Gear up, Blackhawks fans!]

Edmunson and Fabbri jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, but the finish would be determined in 3-on-3 overtime.

Check out who came out on top in the video below:

Tyson Ross could be one of the final pieces for Cubs’ offseason puzzle

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AP

Tyson Ross could be one of the final pieces for Cubs’ offseason puzzle

Tyson Ross could be one of the final pieces of the offseason puzzle as the Cubs try to defend their World Series title while still planning for the future.

The Cubs left this week’s winter meetings in Maryland still involved in the Ross talks, sources said, monitoring an intriguing pitcher they had targeted before the 2015 trade deadline.

The San Diego Padres didn’t really buy or sell during that pennant race and made another curious decision last week when they didn’t offer Ross a contract for 2017. MLB Trade Rumors projected Ross would have made $9.6 million during his final year in the arbitration system.

After issues involving his right shoulder wiped out almost his entire season, Ross underwent surgery in October to address thoracic outlet syndrome.

Ross was San Diego’s Opening Day starter during a 15-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, but didn’t pitch again, clouding a future that once had him looking like a trade-deadline chip and one of the best pitchers in the free-agent class after the 2017 season.

That’s when Jake Arrieta will be looking for his megadeal and John Lackey might be in retirement and Jon Lester will be turning 34. That’s why the Cubs are so focused on pitching this winter and trying to balance out an organization tilted toward hitters.

[SHOP CUBS: Get your World Series champions gear right here]

Kyle Hendricks proved he will be a pitcher to build around – and the Cubs believe Mike Montgomery can evolve from a swingman into a fifth starter and maybe something far more valuable – but depth is a real issue.

Ross made 30-plus starts in 2014 and 2015, when he earned an All-Star selection and accounted for almost 400 innings combined. He will turn 30 in April and is seen as a positive force within the clubhouse. He has a 6-foot-6 frame, a second-round-pick pedigree and a Cal-Berkeley education.

Reports have already linked the Texas Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates to Ross and not completely ruled out a return to San Diego. During an offseason where the free-agent market is essentially devoid of reliable frontline starters, there could be sticker shock, even with a rehabbing pitcher.

Trading for Wade Davis meant the Cubs were out of the bidding for Greg Holland, another All-Star closer who helped turn the Kansas City Royals into World Series champions. Holland spent this year recovering from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, but he will still be in position to capitalize after Mark Melancon, Aroldis Chapman and eventually Kenley Jansen reset the market for closers.

With Ross, the Cubs will have to get a better sense of the medical picture and the price for all that upside.

Beyond a winning culture, the Cubs can sell the pitching infrastructure that helped turn Arrieta into a Cy Young Award winner and transform Hendricks into an ERA leader and keep the rotation remarkably healthy.

“Those really talented pitchers are going to be in demand, even those that are coming off an injury,” Cubs president Theo Epstein said this week at National Harbor. “We’ll stay engaged on some of those guys, but they’ll have to be just the right talent.

“We’ll have to feel good about the medical and the return to play. And the fit on the club would have to be right, too. But the true elite guys have a real market, even if they’re coming off down seasons.”