Quote:Derrick Rose nearing full contact
Updated: January 21, 2013, 10:20 PM ET
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com
CHICAGO -- Derrick Rose may be ready to take full contact in practice this week as he continues to rehab from a torn ACL in his left knee.
Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau admitted as much before Monday night's game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
"Very close," Thibodeau said, when asked if Rose would be cleared for full contact. "Very close. That will be the next step."
Up to this point, Rose has been taking what Thibodeau called 'predictable contact' in controlled settings in practice. If he is cleared to take full contact, Rose would be even closer to a return to games, but Thibodeau cautioned that is still far away.
"He has to go through that for an extended amount of time," Thibodeau said. "That's not going to be OK, one or two days of contact and he's going to be out there, that's not going to happen. Just be patient, everyone has to be patient.
"He's doing his part, he's showing great patience and everybody else has to. He's got to continue to focus on the rehab, our guys have to focus on their improvement and our opponent and then when he's ready, whenever it is, when he's ready that's when he comes back. Not earlier than he's ready, not later, it's when he's ready. Our doctors have been on top of it since day one so everyone just has to show patience."
Rose injured his knee on April 28 in the first game of the Eastern Conference Playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers and had surgery on May 12. He was expected to be out between 8-12 months according to Bulls team physician Brian Cole.
Thibodeau is pleased with the way Rose has attacked his rehab.
"He's great," Thibodeau said. "He's handled his part, you couldn't ask for anything more. And that's who Derrick is. So he just has to keep focused, doing the things that he's been doing, his attitude is terrific, and just focus on the rehab."