The Chicago Bulls are suffering through another lost season, as any season that sees your star point guard and face of the franchise sit out is considered lost. The very fact that the Bulls and their fans have no idea when Rose is going to return reinforces the idea that this is a lost season, but all may not be as lost as we’re assuming it is.
According to Joe Crowley of the Chicago Sun-Times, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau implied that Derrick Rose could return to practice sometime in the near future. As usual with Thibs, no timetable was given and he even seemed to back off the notion that we hold expect to see Rose before the playoffs begin.
“I don’t want to jump to any conclusions, just going step-by-step,’’ Thibodeau said, when asked if Rose’s return to the practice court was a reality. “When he handles the next phase then they’ll move him onto the next one. Just make sure he’s completely healthy, that’s all we’re thinking about.’’
As far as what phase Rose is currently in, Thibodeau said that, “He can shoot, he’s doing some jogging on a treadmill, he’s coming along. Still got to be patient, go step-by-step, nothing close to practicing.’’
The Bulls are still very much in the playoff hunt and likely won’t be a lottery team this year. However, a return of Rose would rejuvenate a team that has been drained by tough losses, injuries and trades. Rose doesn’t appear to be close to returning to the lineup, but the fact that he’s doing everything short of practicing is wildly encouraging.