NEW YORKTom Thibodeau wouldnt say itthats not his stylebut the Bulls head coach indicated that Derrick Rose is closer to taking another major step in his recovery process.
Rose, whos taken part in drills featuring predictable contact as of late, could be nearing the stage where hes practicing as a full participant.
Well sort of evaluate it every week. Hes getting closer because hes taken on some contact, but its a step-by-step process and hes doing well. But everyone has to be patient, Thibodeau said before the Bulls 108-101 win Friday night over the Knicks at Madison Square Garden. Hes done his work, so its a well mapped-out plan. He goes step by step and when he handles one step well and hes comfortable, he moves on to the next one.
Hes not the first guy whos had this injury and I think when you look at the number of guys who have had the injury and what theyre doing after the injury, I think it tells you a lot about where medicine is today and what the rehab for the injury is, the coach continued.
Its a long process, so hes got a ways to go. He hasnt gone through a full practice yet. Hes got to do that for an extended amount of time, but hes doing extremely well. Hes approached it great. You couldnt ask for anything more and our team has done a great job with their approach, and thats the way we want to keep it right now.
Reading between the lines usually isnt advisable when it comes to coach-speak, especially when it involves injuries, but for Thibodeau, known for keeping things close to the vest, to not downplay things or give his standard response to a question about Rose is at the least, not discouraging.
The coach was outright positive when describing Roses mental state these days: You guys know him. Theres high maintenance, low maintenance and no maintenance, and thats Derrick. Thats who he is. Hes just a great team player, great teammate, hes mentally strong, hes got a great will and so, he understands what he has to go through and hes done a great job with it.
None of the above means anything definitive, but as Roses eventual return to the court looms, its heartening to know that things are still going according to schedule, regardless of whether the Bulls see fit to disclose that timetable.