Although Derrick Rose still hasn't been cleared for full contact practice, his eventual return from left knee surgery continues to occasionally dominant Tom Thibodeau's news conferences.
Rose, who again will travel with the Bulls on their two-game trip to Toronto and Boston, is as competitive as they come. But Thibodeau sees no issue between Rose and the Bulls' management and medical staff as the plan for his return is formulated.
"We’re not worried about that," Thibodeau said. "There’s been constant communication with Derrick and the doctors. It’s not going to be a problem."
Thibodeau got asked this latest dynamic in light of Michael Jordan's well-publicized frustration with management when he wanted to return earlier from a broken bone in his foot during his second season.
"He’s very coachable in all areas," Thibodeau said. "As I said, there’s high maintenance and low maintenance and no maintenance. He’s no maintenance. Whatever you ask him to do, that’s what he does. He follows the plan. He’s worked extremely hard. He understands what he has to go through. He’s doing his part."
Rose is doing "predictable" contact during practice. Given that at this stage of the season, teams rarely scrimmage during practice, how will Rose be allowed to experience full contact?
"We’ll do it in pre-practice and post-practice," Thibodeau said. "There are parts of practice where there is contact but it’s not extended right now. You’re practicing less time. But he’s doing fine. He just has to continue doing what he’s doing. We have a great medical staff. We trust the doctors to map the plan out. He’s done a great job following the plan. We’re up to date every day. That’s normal though. It’s not only him but all the players."