Derrick Rose Is Back on the Hard Court, Practices with Team U.S.A.

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By Vincent Paul Hidalgo | July 29, 2014 12:48 PM EST

Hold on to your horses, cross your fingers, and stop playing fantasy PS4 with Derrick Rose. He is back, bouncing, leaping and hopefully for good.

Jul 18, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls new players Nikola Mirotic and Pau Gasol pose for photos after a press conference at the United Center.

The Chicago Bulls star is back on the court and practicing with the U.S. Basketball team that shall be fielded in the upcoming FIBA World Basketball Championships in Spain this August.

Just at ripe age of 25, the countless injuries, the months of being sidelined relegated Rose to a spectator of the sport and during the whole time he felt getting older.

''I was joking with Kyle Korver, I told him 'I'm getting old, man. I've got to stretch, I've got to use rollers and stuff.' He looked at me kind of weird,'' Rose said as per Yahoo! Sports. ''But I feel a lot more mature. I've been preparing for this for a long time. I've dedicated my whole summer to this. I think I've sacrificed a lot for this moment.''

The former league MVP and one of the youngest ever to receive such prestige, played roughly nine minutes of scrimmage during the two-hour practice of the team. He is recovering from two years of successive knee injuries which unfairly compared Rose to former superstars point guard Anfernee Hardaway and forward Grant Hill of the Orlando Magic.

His Team U.S.A. coach Mike Kryzewski would like to think and hope that such is not the case. The tactical mentor praised Rose's defensive tenacity and no let-up style during his brief stint.

''I think Derrick was a great excitement for us, because you hear about how he's worked out, but to see him today, I mean, he put it all out,'' Krzyzewski said. ''He was playing to exhaustion. That was a big plus for today, to see him. I was pleased that he didn't hold anything back. He played his butt off.''

The 2011 MVP just played a total of 10 games last season after being sidelines yet again by a torn meniscus. His daredevil style has left many critics wondering if he can ever get back to the form that made him one of the league's elite stars.

With the return of LeBron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers, the weakening of the four-time Eastern conference champions Miami Heat, and the unraveling of the Indiana Pacers last year, the race for the East has been wide open. The addition of Pau Gasol and the return of Rose are making fans in Chicago optimistic that the franchise can return to top form and finally compete for a championship as it did last in 2011.

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(Photo: REUTERS / David Banks-USA TODAY Sports)
Jul 18, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls new players Nikola Mirotic and Pau Gasol pose for photos after a press conference at the United Center.
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