- Nick Friedell, ESPN Staff Writer
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"Who knows?" Thibodeau said after Tuesday's shootaround. "He's a long ways away from that, but he's doing well. He's doing well."
Rose tore his ACL on April 28, had surgery on May 12 and the prognosis was for eight to 12 months of rehab.
The 24-year-old Rose has been cutting on the knee and sprinting, and he's been impressing his teammates.
"I think he looks really good," Joakim Noah said Monday at a charity event for his Noah's Arc Foundation. "He looks great, actually."
The Bulls started Tuesday with an 8-7 record and in first place in the Central Division.
Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf told ESPN Chicago in the summer that the Bulls won't allow Rose to return until he is 100 percent.
"Every time (I see him) he's working a lot in the gym, so everybody can't wait for (his return)," Bulls guard Marco Belinelli said. "Right now we are focused (on) playing without him. He's going to be back soon, but right now it's important for us to win the game that we (have now).
"Derrick is a great guy. I remember the first time when I (made) the decision to come here and play for Chicago he texted me, and I can't wait to play with him. I played with (Chris Paul) (in New Orleans), one of the best point guards in the league, and so I can't wait to play with (Rose) too."
Aside from a large advertising campaign by adidas, Rose has stayed out of the public eye by design. He hasn't formally spoken to the media since early October, and Thibodeau wants him to continue to focus just on his rehab. Rose's schedule has been kept private, and only in recent days has he been spotted in the Berto Center at the end of practices.
"He's doing fine, but we're not going to get into daily updates," Thibodeau said. "It's going to be the same. He's focused on his rehab, he's got a long way to go and we have to concentrate on our next opponent and our improvement."
Tom Thibodeau said Tuesday that Derrick Rose is still a "long ways" from practicing, and he was noncommittal about Rose practicing before the new year.