The All-Star break is over, and time is running out for Derrick Rose to return and have an impact on the 2012-2013 season.
The Chicago Bulls are 1.5 games behind the Indiana Pacers for first place in the Central Division. They have 30 games left on the schedule.
On Monday, Rose took another step closer to making his way back on the court in the regular season. The former MVP participated in a five-on-five scrimmage for the first time since tearing his ACL. Rose suffered the injury in Game 1 of the Bulls 2012 playoff series with the Philadelphia 76ers.
A few weeks ago, Rose was cleared to take full contact in practice. He finally took part in a few drills that lasted between seven and eight minutes each.
According to shooting guard Kirk Hinrich, Rose looked good in his first scrimmage.
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"He was able to get out there and it's good," Hinrich said. "It was something that us as a team needed, as far as every individual coming off the break needed to scrimmage a little bit. And I'm sure it was good for (Rose), helpful to see exactly ... give him a good gauge of where he's at."
The way Rose’s knee responds in practices will determine whether or not he will come back at all this season. The point guard has stated that he could miss the whole year if he’s not completely healthy.
Without Rose, the Bulls likely won’t be able to compete with the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference. If they get the star back, though, they may have enough to make a run to the NBA Finals.
There is no timetable for Rose’s return. Chicago vice president of basketball operations John Paxson told ESPN 1000 last week that doctors will monitor how Rose responds to the five-on-five practices. Rose has publicly stated that he might sit out the rest of the season.