Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose has already begun participating in contact drills for the first time since suffering a torn MCL last November, as reported by the Chicago Tribune.
The 25-year old Rose remains on track to join Team USA's mini-camp in July and play with team in the FIBA World Cup in Spain later this year, as reports indicated that he already participated in one-on-one game with Bulls backup point guard Mike James on Tuesday.
Rose tore his MCL in his right knee, 10 games into the regular-season. He underwent his second major surgery in three years, but the procedure to fix his knee requires a much shorter recovery time than the torn ACL injury (left knee) he suffered in the 2012 playoffs.
"Derrick Rose took contact on his surgically repaired right knee for the first time Monday, the Bulls said, playing one-on-one against Mike James.
Rose has suffered no setbacks during his rehabilitation from having his meniscus repaired in late November and remains on track to participate in Team USA's minicamp in Las Vegas in late July for the FIBA World Cup team," as reported by KC Johnson of Chicago Tribune on Tuesday.
Chicago head coach Tom Thibodeau also shared his opinion on Rose's progress in his rehabilitation, which is now in its next phase.
"[It was] good," Thibodeau said. "He's right on schedule. So this is the next phase now. The rehab part went well. The non-contact stuff went well. So now this is the next step, which is good."
"The thing is, he's had two unfortunate injuries," Thibodeau said. "I think he's put a lot of work into his body. So we're optimistic that he's going to make a complete and full recovery. Hopefully he'll have an opportunity to play some this summer with USA Basketball and then we'll go from there."
Despite getting bounced out of the playoffs after losing to the Washington Wizards in five games, Thibs is thrilled of having Rose back next season to play with a Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson, who both raised their game this year.
"I thought the growth of both [Joakim Noah] and [Taj Gibson] was huge for our team," he said. "But I'm looking forward to having Derrick back also. Obviously, that makes your team a lot different. I think we're positioned well," the Bulls head coach told ESPN.