UPDATE (1/9): So apparently Rose is taking "predictable contact," whatever that means. More from Aggrey:
While Rose is making progress and demonstrates to the assembled media, in the waning moments of practices, that he's retained his outside shooting touch, it doesn't mean that his return is imminent.
According to a person with knowledge of the situation, the Chicago native will participate in three-on-three drills in the near future before being cleared to play in full-court five-on-five activities, hopefully by the end of the month, at which point, he'll practice extensively before a likely return sometime after the All-Star break.
So this was initially dropped in the comments of the Bulls/Heat recap, and while we usually don't run with silly Derrick Rose rumors, we're going to post this for the hell of it (and for the hits!!!) From Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News:
People who have seen Derrick Rose work out insist he's almost ready to start playing. The Bulls still aren't saying when the 2011 MVP will be activated for game duty. And like everything else out in Chicago, the front office and coaching staff can't agree on when he'll take the court.
I honestly have no idea who these "people" are who are insisting these things to some New York journalist, but I guess it's still somewhat interesting nonetheless. We know Rose's rehab has been going pretty well, that he's doing more and more in practice and that he's now traveling with the team.
However, Tom Thibodeau and all the Chicago beat guys insist that Rose won't be back on the court until February or early March. That to me seems like the reasonable time frame, because there's simply no reason to rush him back any sooner.
The bit about the front office and coaching staff not always seeing eye to eye is somewhat humorous. We know Vinny had his run-ins with John Paxson, and I'm sure GarPax isn't always approving of how Thibs handles some of the current roster. But with the Rose thing, it sure seems like they've been on the same page all along. All parties, including Jerry Reinsdorf, have made it clear that the franchise would take all the time they needed to nurse Rose back to full health. And while these guys have been dirty stinkin' liars before, I honestly believe them in this case.
So basically, I take this with a huge grain of salt. Perhaps out of nowhere Rose will be cleared for full contact in the next couple of weeks. Iman Shumpert is supposedly almost ready to do that, and he got injured on the same day. But I'm remaining patient and not counting on Derrick back for another 1-2 months.