By Ben Golliver
The moment everyone in Chicago has been waiting for -- the return of All-Star guard Derrick Rose from knee surgery -- continues to get closer.
CSNChicago.com reported Sunday that Rose, who has been sidelined since he tore the ACL in his left knee in April, has increased his participation in non-contact portions of practice with his teammates.
But CSNChicago.com has learned that over the last two days, minus the contact portions, the former league MVP has been a full participant in the team’s practices at the Berto Center.
While there is no set timetable for Rose to resume playing, according to multiple sources, the 24-year-old point guard will be back on the court sometime after the NBA All-Star break.
On Dec. 4, it was reported that Rose was "just weeks away" from practicing. Last week, the Chicago Tribune reported that Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Rose was "running, shooting" and "going through all the offense [and] a little defense" with his teammates during practice sessions.
All-Star Weekend is set for Feb. 15-17, meaning Rose's return is still at least six-plus weeks away.
Rose's return couldn't be more eagerly anticipated. His rehabilitation from knee surgery was painstakingly chronicled in a national video ad campaign from Adidas.
“I got a lot of confidence with the team that we have,” Rose said in the video campaign's final episode. “They see me lifting all the time, shooting, just trying to do extra just to show them that just because I’m not on the court with them that I’m still working my butt off so that I can get back on the court as quick as possible.”
The Point Forward's Rob Mahoney wrote this week that Rose's return will be one of the key league-wide developments to watch in 2013. Rose, 24, suffered his knee injury during Game 1 of a first-round playoff series against the 76ers. The No. 1 pick in the 2008 draft, a three-time All-Star and the 2011 MVP, Rose holds career averages of 21 points, 6.8 assists and 3.8 rebounds. In his absence, the Bulls are 16-12 this season, tied for the Central Division lead with the Bucks.