OAKLAND, Calif. -- Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said Thursday it's "unlikely" point guard Derrick Rose will make his season debut Friday night against the Golden State Warriors, but Thibodeau did acknowledge that he likes the way Rose continues to progress from a torn left ACL.
"We'll see (Friday)," Thibodeau said after practice when asked if there was a chance Rose could play. "With him it's just day to day. He had a good day today, he went hard, did a lot of stuff. But we'll see."
Rose, who had ACL surgery on May 12, is listed as "out" on the official game notes on the Bulls' website.
Thibodeau was asked if the decision as to whether Rose plays is as simple as the 24-year-old coming up to the coach and saying he's ready to go.
"We'll have a better idea as we move along," Thibodeau said. "The big thing is his improvement and then how he feels the next day.
"As long as he continues to make progress. We went pretty hard today, so we'll see where he is (Friday)."
Given all the hoopla and scrutiny regarding Rose's possible return, Thibodeau was pressed on how his comments might be interpreted optimistically by fans who have been yearning to see Rose play all season. That's when the veteran coach went back to his usual routine.
"(His situation) hasn't changed," Thibodeau said. "(His return) could be in a couple days. It could be in a week. I don't know when it is. He doesn't know when it is.
"I think he was very forthcoming with (the media) and that's where he is. He's got to feel real comfortable. He's got to feel that the explosion is there. He's made great progress and we don't know when that time is. I think we'll have a better idea the more we see him go. Today, he was good, but it doesn't mean that he's playing (Friday). It doesn't mean he won't play (Friday). We just have to keep being patient, let him work through it. Each day he feels a little better and that's all we're worried about. He's controlled everything he can control, he puts everything he has into each and every day and then when he's ready he'll let us know."
Rose, who has discussed the possibility he won't return this season, told reporters on Tuesday that he's doing everything on the court, but he just needs to get his confidence back.
"I think I can do everything; it's just me having the confidence to do it," Rose said earlier this week. "Just me feeling normal."
The Bulls have said all along that the decision to return will be Rose's and they are comfortable with whatever he decides.
Thibodeau rejected the notion that Rose may want to come back before he is ready after the Bulls lost by 42 points to the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.
"No," Thibodeau said. "Nope. Here's the thing: This guy is well prepared for this. He's handled his part great, so he's not going to be influenced by anything but when he's ready and that part is clear."
When asked again if there was a chance Rose could play Friday, Thibodeau seemed to indicate that his guard wasn't going to play, but he left the door open for more interpretation.
"There's always a chance," Thibodeau said. "But let's just say nothing has changed. As he told you guys the other day, he doesn't know.
"I think he's got to have a few days where he feels really good about where he is. And it's not that he's not feeling good. He's feeling very good, but he's not quite there yet. So we'll know when he gets there. And I would say this, it's 'unlikely' that he plays (Friday) just so we clear that up. Nothing has changed."
The Bulls won't play again until hosting the Denver Nuggets on Monday.