NBA: Recovery of Bulls’ Rose takes positive turn
A sense of doubt has evolved into a hint of optimism about Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose’s comeback from knee surgery.
Rose, who last week mentioned the possibility of sitting out the season, appeared to take another step yesterday as he participated in 5-on-5 drills during practice.
“He was able to get out there, and it’s good,” teammate Kirk Hinrich said. “It was something that (we) as a team needed, as far as every individual coming off the (All-Star) break needed to scrimmage a little bit. And I’m sure it was good for (Rose), helpful to … give him a good gauge of where he’s at.”
Coach Tom Thibodeau said Rose did “what everyone else did” and said his participation wasn’t out of the ordinary based on the previously stated outlook. The plan all along was to have Rose return to 5-on-5 action after the break.
Rose cited his inability to dunk as the reason he knew he hadn’t fully recovered, and Joakim Noah said Rose still wasn’t dunking yesterday. The Bulls went through three scrimmages of seven to eight minutes each, during which Rose ran full-court. It was unclear how much contact Rose endured or how much pressure he put on his left knee.
“He’s doing what he should be doing,” Thibodeau said. “He’s focused on his rehab, doing more and more. We just have to be patient. When he’s ready, he’ll go.”
Thibodeau reiterated how his players need to pick up their intensity after dropping five of the last seven games and six of 10. A Rose return would instantly inject life into the Bulls, although they have performed admirably at times in his absence while holding the Eastern Conference’s fifth seed.
Utah Jazz point guard Mo Williams returned to practice for noncontact drills for the first time since undergoing surgery on his right thumb in early January. Williams has no timetable for his return. He wants to ensure there is no setback as he regains mobility in the joint.
Williams also said he “will breathe a sigh of relief” when Thursday’s trade deadline passes after more rumors the Jazz are interested in Los Angeles Clippers point guard Eric Bledsoe — a deal that could affect Williams’ long-term future.
Williams can become an unrestricted free agent after this season but is hopeful of staying with the Jazz. He acknowledged the team “has a lot of options” but held out hope the team “sees my value.”
• The Philadelphia 76ers signed guard Jeremy Pargo for the rest of the season. Pargo, who appeared in 27 games with the Cavaliers this season, was playing on a 10-day contract.