Luol Deng didn’t go through the light practice this afternoon and will be a gametime decision for Wednesday night’s game vs. the Detroit Pistons.
Coach Tom Thibodeau said his strained right hamstring is feeling better.
He also informed that Derrick Rose has been cleared to take on more contact in practice, which is the next step in the rehabilitation process.
“He’s been cleared for more contact, so we went to the next step today,” Thibodeau said.
The practice consisted mostly of shooting and watching film, so it's unclear just how much contact Rose took on today. After practice concluded, he did run a few laps through the gym.
“It’s the next step in the rehab," Thibodeau said. "Everyone has to be patient. He’s doing fine, playing more and practicing more. We want him to concentrate on the rehab, the team just to continue to concentrate on improvement and our next opponent. Nothing’s changed.”
Moving away from just predictable contact, Rose is now going against his teammates in practice and while it’s the next step, he’ll need to go through several of practices with taking on contact, with no setbacks before being cleared to make his return.
“In practice, you’re trying to get it as close to a game-like condition as you can, with the understanding of there’s nothing like a game," Thibodeau said. "There’s nothing that matches that intensity. You strive to get it there but there’s a difference. You have make sure you can handle this intensity first and then we’ll go from there. He’s doing great. He’s shown great patience and everybody else has to show great patience.”
Patience has been the key focus throughout the season in dealing with Rose and while he will now doing more with his teammates, they know that this next step is going to be a process.
“We know it’s going to take time,” Richard Hamilton said. “We just allow Derrick to kind of do him. It was good just to see him out on the floor moving around, getting a little contact. We just want him to take his time.”
Hamilton shot down the notion that teammates will be a bit hesitant to play Rose too physically as Rose wants to, not only test where he is, but push himself.
“It’s one of those things where when he’s out there, he doesn’t want you to back up off him,” Hamilton said. “He wants to challenge himself. Any opportunity he’s on the floor, he wants to challenge himself and see how good he is on the floor. You want to try and make him play some.”