Tom Thibodeau is “hopeful” Derrick Rose could return this week

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Everything is on track for Derrick Rose. He won’t play Sunday afternoon against the Cavaliers, but Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau says his rehab is going well and he should be back soon, almost six weeks after undergoing right knee surgery.

Rose was cleared for contact a week ago and has been participating fully in practice with the Bulls ever since. But his conditioning still isn’t to the point it needs to reach before he’s ready to play in games. He and Thibodeau hope that part comes soon.

After Sunday’s game against the Cavs, the Bulls travel to Florida in the middle of the week to face the Magic on Wednesday and the Heat on Thursday in a back-to-back. Even if Rose is ready to play by then, he doesn’t make much sense to bring him back on a back-to-back. The safer bet would be that he returns for the final three games of the season, against the Sixers, Nets and Hawks.