Derrick Rose could have full-contact practices this week

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The official word on the return of Derrick Rose to the Bulls has always been “after the All-Star Break.” But it’s feeling more and more like it could be a little sooner than that from the blown up ACL he had in the first game of the playoffs last season.

Here is the latest update from Tom Thibodeau before the game vs. the Lakers Monday, via my man Aggrey Sam at CSNChicago.com.

“[Rose is] very close. That [full-contact practices] will be the next step,” Thibodeau said with a wry smirk on his face. “It could [happen this week].

“He has to go through that for an extended amount of time. That’s not going to be, ‘Okay, one or two days of contact and he’s going to be out there. That’s not going to happen. Everyone has to be patient. He’s doing his part. He’s showing great patience. Everyone else has to,” he continued.

There is no rush because the Bulls are winning, at 24-16 they are currently the five seed in the East.

How the Bulls play — team ball, defense, passion — was a stark contrast from the Lakers and spoke to the coach and team makeup that can be undervalued in the NBA.

But Rose takes a nice Bulls team to potential contender. Whether he can do that this year remains to be seen. It may be next season before he is close to his old self.

Still it will be good to see him on the court. Hopefully soon.