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.

Blackhawks blow three-goal lead, fall in OT at Lightning

Blackhawks blow three-goal lead, fall in OT at Lightning

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Yanni Gourde had a breakaway goal 4:25 into overtime and the Tampa Bay Lightning rallied from a three-goal deficit to beat the Chicago Blackhawks 5-4 on Monday night.

Victor Hedman set up the winner with his third assist of the game.

Tampa Bay, which trails Boston by a point for the second Eastern Conference wild card, also got two goals from Jonathan Drouin. Ondrej Palat and Anton Stralman also scored, and Andrei Vasilevskiy, who got pulled 14 minutes into the first after allowing three goals on eight shots, returned to the start the second and finished with 25 saves.

Artemi Panarin, Patrick Kane, Tomas Jurco and Richard Panik scored for the Western Conference-leading Blackhawks, who were coming off a 7-0 loss Saturday night at Florida. Scott Darling stopped 25 shots.

Cubs will have Ian Happ one phone call away at Triple-A Iowa

Cubs will have Ian Happ one phone call away at Triple-A Iowa

MESA, Ariz. – After an impressive camp where he looked like the next homegrown Cubs hitter to roll off the assembly line, Ian Happ will go to Triple-A Iowa and get ready to make his big-league debut, or perhaps build his value for a trade-deadline deal.

Along with Happ, the Cubs assigned outfielder John Andreoli and catcher Taylor Davis to minor-league camp on Monday while optioning pitchers Eddie Butler and Rob Zastryzny to Iowa, cutting their roster to 31 as the Opening Night picture comes into focus.

Happ – the ninth overall pick in the 2015 draft out of the University of Cincinnati – batted .417 with five homers, four doubles and 17 RBI in 24 Cactus League games.

"Offensively, what was there not to like?" general manager Jed Hoyer said. "I feel like he hit the ball hard every at-bat for six weeks. It's always fun to see a young guy like that come in and open a lot of eyes."

Happ, 22, is a switch-hitter who can play second base and the outfield, skills that could help him escape from Des Moines once the need arises on the major-league level.

[MORE CUBS: How Cubs came to fully believe in the legend of Kyle Schwarber]

Though there are questions about Happ's defense, Theo Epstein's front office and Joe Maddon's coaching staff clearly value versatility and trust young talent, moving Addison Russell to shortstop in 2015 and elevating rookie catcher Willson Contreras last season.

Stay tuned to see when/if the Cubs will have a spot at Wrigley Field, but Happ looks like he will be on a fast track.

"Whenever you're in Triple-A, you're always a call away," Hoyer said. "Sometimes it happens quicker than you think. We never expected Addie would be up in April of that year, and he was. I feel like with Willson last year, if you had asked me in spring training – would he be up in June? – I probably would have thought it would be more like a September call-up or something like that.

"You never know. Things happen. When you have good players in the minor leagues, sometimes it speeds up on you a little bit."