by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

The Chicago Bulls have played valiantly without Derrick Rose so far this season, managing to hover above .500 so far (8-7). They might soon be getting a much-needed boost, if the latest reports out of the Windy City are to be believed.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Rose may start taking part in team practices within a few weeks:

According to an NBA source, while ‘‘The Return’’ to the court for NBA games is still up in the air for Rose, the all-everything point guard could be just weeks away from practicing with the Bulls again after surgery on his left anterior cruciate ligament last May. ‘‘That’s the belief that a couple of [the Bulls’] players are under,’’ the source said.

Rose has been expected to be able to play in games by February, but that has been inferred more than actually stated. Even if the Bulls receive the ultimate Christmas present of getting him back on the practice court just before Dec. 25, it doesn’t mean he’s necessarily ahead of that February schedule — or behind it. Asked Monday if there was a specific timetable for Rose to start practicing, general manager Gar Forman answered in a text message: ‘‘We’re still taking the process step by step, and a date hasn’t been set.’’

Since last month, Derrick Rose has been cutting on his surgically-repaired left knee and he is now running sprints inside the Bulls’ training facility.

It’s encouraging news for the Chicago Bulls and their fans, but as the Daily Heraldwisely cautions, there’s a reason the team has yet to commit to a return date: there are many more hurdles to hop over before Derrick Rose can truly be back.