Derrick Rose looks like his old self in Bulls preseason debut (VIDEO)

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CHICAGO—Derrick Rose made his long-awaited return to the United Center on Monday…sort of. It’s only a preseason game, but his first game in a Bulls uniform in almost a year was a welcome sight after two consecutive season-ending knee surgeries and a performance at the FIBA World Cup that was anything but memorable.

Even though it wasn’t a capacity crowd (that will come on Halloween, when the Bulls play their regular-season home opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers), the Chicago native drew immense applause when he was introduced pregame.

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And when he got on the floor, he looked like the Derrick Rose of old. He was aggressive early, driving to the rim, hitting a three-pointer and finishing his first shift with nine points on 4-for-5 shooting in seven minutes.

Again, it’s only a preseason game, so it doesn’t mean that he’s automatically going to return to 2011 MVP form once the regular season kicks off. But he’s confident, he shows no signs of ill health, and he’s playing with no hesitation. That’s good news for Bulls fans and bad news for the rest of the league.