Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose stepped up his rehab on Monday after taking full contact in practice for the first time since undergoing knee surgery.
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Rose participated in contact portions of practice and although he declined to speak to reporters after, coach Tom Thibodeau discussed his progress.
“He was aggressive,” Thibodeau said, as reported by the Chicago Tribune.
“He was a little winded, but we expected that. But overall, I thought it was good. He said he feels good physically. The big thing is going to be the wind and conditioning. He’s been out a long time.”
The 26-year-old underwent the procedure on February 27 and the Bulls announced that he was expected to be sidelined for between four and six weeks.
This Friday will mark five weeks since the surgery, and so now much will depend on how Rose responds to practice and how long it takes for him to get his conditioning back up to a level that the medical and coaching staff are happy with.
It is also worth noting that this is Rose’s third knee surgery in just under three years, with the surgeon removing part of his right meniscus this time round.
Chicago will hope that he is capable of making a full recovery and sustain his health, although there is also a significant mental factor to the former league MVP’s situation and it remains to be seen whether or not that is reflected in his play when he returns.
To his credit, Rose appeared to be getting back to his best form just days prior to suffering the latest setback, and he will hope to get his legs back under him in time for the playoffs which start in just over two weeks time.
The Bulls scrimmaged full-court for two 10-minutes sessions on Monday, although it was 4-on-4 with Thibodeau opting to rest Pau Gasol, Mike Dunleavy, Aaron Brooks and Kirk Hinrich, according to the Tribune.