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Bulls G Rose steps up contact work in practice

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Injured Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose continued to participate in more contact work Tuesday during practice.

"Derrick went to the next step today, did more contact," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau told the Chicago Tribune. "But everyone has to be patient."

The Bulls still project a February return for the former NBA Most Valuable Player as he continues his rehab after knee surgery.

"He has to go through that for an extended amount of time," Thibodeau said. "That's not going to be, 'Okay, one or two days of contact and he's going to be out there. That's not going to happen. He's doing his part. He's showing great patience. Everyone else has to.

"When he's ready -- whenever it is -- when he's ready, that's when he comes back. Not earlier than he's ready, not later."

The Bulls (24-16) entered Tuesday's games trailing Central Division leader Indiana by one game.
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