Chicago Bulls superstar point guard Derrick Rose continues to chug along during his long, painful recovery from knee surgery. But, there is a growing light at the end of the tunnel — Rose can now begin to absorb some contact from his teammates in practice. The Bulls, understandably, continue to be extremely cautious with Rose’s return to the court despite his encouraging progress. Per the Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune: “Basically, he’s doing what we call predictable contact,’ coach Tom Thibodeau said. ‘Knowing what’s coming. So he’s handled that part great. He’s done a little one-on-one. That’s coming around, but everyone has to be patient. The next step will be a regular practice, and he hasn’t done that yet. Once he does that, then you know he’s getting closer.’ As far as a timetable on when that could take place, Thibodeau was adamant about not skipping steps. ‘We’ve got to feel good about this,’’ Thibodeau said. “The most important thing is he’s got to feel good about it. It’s the type of injury that you have to be patient, and he’s handling his part great. He’s upbeat, he’s doing his rehab daily, and that’s his entire focus.’ [...] Bulls general manager Gar Forman said Monday that clearing Rose for full contact in practice is the next step in his progression. That clearance is expected to come in the near future, especially after coach Tom Thibodeau said Rose has been fine with what he called ‘predictable contact.’ [...] ‘It’s exciting,’ Joakim Noah said. ‘We get to see the progress, knowing he’s going to come back. That’s a good feeling. But we need to give him as much time as he needs to come back 100 percent.’”