Light practice or not, what Derrick Rose did Tuesday is music to Bulls fans' ears.
"Heís been cleared for more contact so we went to the next step today," coach Tom Thibodeau said following a light film and shooting session at the Berto Center.
Almost reflexively, Thibodeau then preached patience. And there remain few signs Rose will be cleared for game action until after the Feb. 17 All-Star break.
"Itís going to be awhile," Thibodeau said. "Itís the next step in his rehab. Everyone has to be patient. Heís doing fine. Heís playing more, practicing more. We want him to concentrate on his rehab. We want the team to continue concentrating on improvement and the next opponent. Nothing has changed."
With Rose taking more contact on his surgically-repaired left knee, monitoring how his body reacts becomes more critical.
"Thatís a big part of it," Thibodeau said. "You have to remember: In practice, youíre trying to get it as close to game-like conditions as you can with the understanding that thereís nothing like a game. Thereís nothing that matches that intensity. You have to make sure he can handle this intensity first and then weíll go from there. Heís doing great. He has shown great patience. And everybody else has to show great patience."
Thibodeau did confirm Rose went against teammates on Tuesday, likely in a three-on-three session or something of that ilk. Previously, Rose had merely participated in what the team called "predictable contact."
With so few scrimmage-like practices at this stage of an NBA season, the Bulls must find ways to subject Rose to contact.
"Thatís the challenge," Thibodeau said. "Itís where you are in your schedule. But weíll figure it out."