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Thibodeau says Derrick Rose, Bulls always understood recovery plan

9-15-10 Sports Joe Cowley. Staff Mug. phoby Jean Lachat/Sun-Times

9-15-10 Sports Joe Cowley. Staff Mug. photo by Jean Lachat/Sun-Times

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Updated: April 10, 2013 12:05AM



If there’s a rift between Derrick Rose and the Bulls organization, it would be the first coach Tom Thibodeau has heard of it.

Asked Tuesday if the Bulls, Rose and his camp are on the same page about the MVP point guard’s rehabilitation of his surgically repaired anterior cruciate ligament, Thibodeau went out of his way to praise the way it’s been handled.

‘‘Yeah, yeah, right from the start,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘I thought [chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf] set the tone for it right at the beginning — he made it clear about how we were going to approach it. We were never going to rush him back, and we weren’t going to allow him to rush himself back. And I think he heeded Jerry’s advice right from the beginning. He’s been diligent — he’s done everything that you could possibly do. He puts everything he has into each and every day.

‘‘He’s still not quite ready, and I think we have to trust him, so when he is ready, we’ll move forward.’’

Asked specifically if there has been a difference of opinion along the way about treatment or timetables for Rose, Thibodeau said, ‘‘Not that I know of.’’

‘‘I think it’s been very clear right from the beginning, and we made it very clear that we don’t want him out there unless he’s comfortable,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘He’s done his part. We have to do what’s right, and I think we are.’’

Rose has been very consistent with his message: He won’t take the court until he feels he’s ‘‘110 percent.’’ But the hole in that logic is that a player can’t really be sure he’s ‘‘110 percent’’ unless he tests himself against the best players in the NBA.

Rose has been the best player in practice the last month, doing, as Taj Gibson called it, his usual ­‘‘Matrix’’ moves in the air.

‘‘I think we all know how good he is, and it’s obvious to me,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘He’s still not quite there. Again, everybody has to remain patient. He’ll let us know when he’s ready, and I think that’s important. You can’t overlook that.’’

What also can’t be overlooked is that just because the Bulls can get Rose to climb the high dive, it doesn’t mean they can force him to jump. It doesn’t sound like they’ll be shoving him off, either.

‘‘I think [Reinsdorf] made it clear to us, to Derrick, to the doctors on how we were going to approach it, and that’s exactly what has happened,’’ Thibodeau said. ‘‘Trust me, Derrick wants to be out there very badly. He’s doing all he can, and when the time comes he’ll be out there.’’

Thibodeau reiterated that Rose could return in any of the remaining five regular-season games or the postseason.



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