Derrick Rose isn’t any closer to returning, but his continued shooting and running is having a positive effect on the rest of the team.
Rose was seen Tuesday afternoon at the United Center putting up 3-pointers at the team’s shootaround, and while Tom Thibodeau reiterated that the former MVP won’t be back in the Bulls’ lineup any time soon, he did say Rose is improving.
"He’s running on a treadmill, making a shot here or there, he’s doing well,” Thibodeau said. “He’s been (running on a treadmill) for a while. He’s doing fine. Still nowhere close to practicing. He’s out for the year, but he’s doing great.”
Thibodeau said Rose “most likely” will not practice with the team at any point in the season – which isn’t an update but rather a confirmation of what he’s said in the past – but for his teammates, it’s a boost having him around and, according to Joakim Noah, one reason the Bulls have been able to stay afloat in the East in Rose’s absence.
“He’s working really hard, always around the team, being a great leader, showing support to his teammates,” Noah said. “Just watching him work every day, it’s extra motivation for us to go harder.”
The Bulls are 19-20 since Rose suffered a torn meniscus in Portland on Nov. 22, and Noah said part of that record can be attributed to Rose continuing his own rehabilitation, practice and progress while the team battles on the court.
“He’s in the gym non-stop, just working on his body, just getting better, and that’s what it’s all about. He’s a big part of this team, and he has that mentality of, ‘Have no regrets, give it everything you’ve got, and if you can go you can go, if you can’t you did everything you could to make it.’”
Like Thibodaeu, Noah wouldn’t offer any sort of timetable on when Rose may be able to at least practice with the team or potentially return for a playoff run. Like it was last year when Rose was rehabilitating from a torn ACL, Noah said the best thing Rose’s teammates can do is have his back.
“That’s not my decision, that’s nobody’s decision,” Noah said in response to when Rose may return. “It’s all about how he feels, and regardless of what happens we’re going to be supportive.”