Derrick Rose has begun to participate in non-contact drills with the Chicago Bulls. While the point guard is on the road to recovery, he won’t be returning to the court anytime soon.
“He’s moving along fine,” head coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He has picked it up a little bit. But there’s still no contact. He’s out for the year, but he’s doing well.”
For a second straight season, Rose will miss the entirety of the Bulls’ playoff run. In 2011-2012, he was only able to play one game, after suffering a torn ACL in the team’s postseason opener. The point guard hasn’t played since Nov. 22 of this season, following surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
Last season, Rose would not rule himself out for the year, leading to speculation that he might make a comeback. However, even as the team reached the second round of the postseason, he never suited up for Chicago.
Since he can’t help the team with his play, Rose is looking for ways to help the Bulls. According to Thibodeau, the 25-year-old has been working with the team’s second unit, as they prepare for another trip to the postseason.
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“He’s done a great job with his leadership,” the head coach said. “He wants to help in any way he can, so it’s all a plus. He’s coming along, he’s going to be fine, so we’re encouraged by his progress. Right now, we’re concentrating on what we have to do the rest of the way.’’
With Rose sidelined, Joakim Noah has flourished. He could finish third in MVP voting, behind Kevin Durant and LeBron James. The center has become the team’s leading assist man, while averaging double-digits in points and rebounds.
Despite Rose’s absence, the Bulls continue to be one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. With eight games remaining, Chicago is tied with the Toronto Raptors for the No.3 seed. They are 10 games over .500.
Even if Rose were able to return for the playoffs, the Bulls would still be underdogs against the Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers. In 10 games this season, Rose struggled to regain his MVP form from a few years ago. Chicago went 5-5 with a healthy Rose. He averaged 15.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 4.3 assists, while playing just over 31 minutes per contest. Rose shot a career-low 35.4 percent from the field.