Derrick Rose could return to practice before the new year. (Randy Belice/Getty Images)
The Chicago Bulls might be in for a pleasant surprise this holiday season. Derrick Rose is reportedly a few weeks away from returning to the practice court, according to Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun Times:
[T]he all-everything point guard could be just weeks away from practicing with the Bulls again after surgery on his left anterior cruciate ligament last May. ‘‘That’s the belief that a couple of [the Bulls’] players are under,’’ the source said.
Rose, who became the youngest MVP in league history in 2011, went down with an ACL tear in the first round of the playoffs last season against the Philadelphia 76ers. After the surgery, the initial timetable for his full recovery was close to a year, although as documented through a series of Adidas "The Return" commercials, Rose has been working to push up that point of return and reports now indicate that he could be seeing time as early as February.
According to Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com, Rose had been "sprinting in bursts" as of Monday. His teammate, Bulls center Joakim Noah, said on Monday that Rose looks great:
"I think he looks really good. He looks great, actually."
Rose would no doubt restore stability to a Bulls backcourt that has seen inconsistent play and a rash of injuries so far this season. But despite reports that he might soon be back at practice, it's unlikely he'll approach anywhere near the 35 minutes per game he was given by coach Tom Thibodeau last season.