Derrick Rose looked 'really good'

Updated: February 20, 2013, 4:34 PM ET
By Jon Greenberg | ESPNChicago.com

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose looked "really good" during his first 5-on-5 drills of the season on Monday as he recovers from ACL surgery, a source said.

Rose had been cleared for regular contact for weeks, but the Bulls' first post-All-Star break practice gave the team a chance for a full scrimmage at the Berto Center before departing for New Orleans for Tuesday night's game against the Hornets.

"I'm still not sure when he's going to play but he's ready to go," said the source, who watched the entire practice.

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau maintained that Rose, who also participated in a 5-on-5 scrimmage on Wednesday, is making progress.

"It's hard to say," Thibodeau said Wednesday. "He's made some good steady progress. He's right where he should be. There has to be an understanding that in practice you're trying to get to a game-like intensity and you know you're never going to get there, so there's a whole different level to playing in an NBA game. He's making good, steady progress, he's doing fine, he's got to continue to work on his rehab."

Bulls vice president of basketball operations John Paxson told "The Carmen, Jurko & Harry Show" last week on ESPN 1000 that Rose would participate in 5-on-5 drills after the All-Star break and the team will monitor how his body responds.

Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich, who returned to action Tuesday against the Hornets after missing the last seven games with an elbow infection, said the Bulls did "probably three, seven-, eight-minute scrimmages" on Monday.

Last week, Rose said he couldn't dunk in stride yet, giving reporters another recurring question to ask to measure his status. Joakim Noah said Rose didn't dunk in practice on Monday.

"No, not yet," Joakim Noah said. "Sorry."

Rose, who tore his ACL in the first game of the 2012 playoffs, made waves last week after stating he won't come back until he's "110 percent" to a USA Today reporter. He then told local reporters that if he wasn't completely healthy, he would be fine with missing the entire season.

"I really don't know," Rose said in Boston on Feb. 13. "I'm feeling good, but like I said, if it's where it's taking me a long time and I'm still not feeling right, I don't mind missing this year."

But Rose has been working out like he plans to come back soon. His teammates describe him as being the first one in the gym and the last one to leave. He's been participating in limited practices for some time and traveling on the road.

"I would love to [come back this season]," he said in Boston. "I would love to. That's why I approached my rehab and my workout so hard. I'm trying to get back on the court as quickly as possible, but if I have anything lingering on, it's no point."

Information from ESPN The Magazine's Chris Broussard and ESPNChicago's Melissa Isaacson was used in this report.

Jon Greenberg

Columnist, ESPNChicago.com
Jon Greenberg is a columnist for ESPNChicago.com. He has lived and worked in Chicago since 2003, and is a graduate of Ohio University and the University of Chicago.