Tom Thibodeau Says Derrick Rose is ‘Close’ to Returning

There still isn’t a date or timetable for Derrick Rose’s highly-anticipated return to game action, but according to Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, the superstar point guard is close. What that means, of course, is anyone’s guess. Per the Chicago Sun-Times: “Asked if his MVP point guard was moving any closer to taking the court for a regular-season game in hopes of testing out the surgically-repaired anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, Thibodeau said, ‘Yeah, he’s close, but he’s not going to come back until he’s ready. He feels a lot better, but he’s still not there. You guys that have seen him play, his skillset is power, speed, stop, go, change of direction, so he has to make sure that he’s completely comfortable with that. He’s close, but he’s not quite there yet.’ It would be news if Thibodeau hasn’t given the same type of update in the past, but it’s almost become a tease rather than a true progress report. What hasn’t changed is that while Rose continued to look good in practice and go through all the drills, the explosion he is seeking still isn’t there. He wants to be able to play the game on instinct, not thought, and that hurdle is yet to be scaled. ‘To have the ability to do it every day,’ Thibodeau said, when asked what he meant by ‘close.’ ‘Like right now, we’re not doing a lot of scrimmaging because of where we are so it’s hard to gauge. But when we did scrimmage I thought he looked very good. But the most important thing is him being comfortable, so we’ve got to let him work through it.’ […] With eight more games left in the regular-season, Thibodeau had already maintained that there was no drop-dead date in which the team would deem it too late for a return, but Thibodeau still had no opinion on if he expected to see Rose at all this year. ‘No, but again, it’s on him, and only he knows,’ Thibodeau said. ‘So we have to trust him. And as I’ve said many times, I trust him implicitly, and he’ll know when he’s ready and when he is he’ll go.'”