Mar 7, 2012; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose (1) during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center. The Bulls defeated the Bucks 106-104. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE

Rose Likely to Return Thursday Against Boston

Bulls fans have almost forgotten what it looks like to have Derrick Rose on the court, but the wait for his injuries to heal may be over. After missing almost all of last month, Rose may return to the lineup for Thursday’s mega-showdown with the Celtics.

Rose has missed 11 consecutive games with a groin injury but wants to return as soon as Thursday. (Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE)

Rose was able to perform his regular basketball routine at regular Derrick Rose speed yesterday for the first time since his groin injuries.

“Today was really his first day on the floor going full speed as far as a basketball workout — running, sliding, shooting,” said Bulls GM Gar Forman. “He was in a full lather for probably close to an hour. That was encouraging. We’ll see how he feels tomorrow. Today was the first step. Hopefully, we’ll have a resolution real soon.’’

Rose will use today’s full speed, full squad workout as a determining factor in his return. If Rose can participate up to par in his book and the books of the Bulls, then his return Thursday is very likely.

Having Rose back would mean the Bulls would be back to full strength for the first time since February. Rip Hamilton has missed 37 games this season (which amount to 67 percent of the season) and Rose is in the midst of an 11 game sitting streak.

“Our hope is sometime in the next week or so we can have our whole team back and healthy and then get some games under their belts as far as developing a rhythm with each other and then head for the playoffs as a healthy team,” Forman said. “That’s going to be a key for a lot of teams going into the postseason, getting your team healthy, in rhythm and ready to go.”

With the Heat hot on the Buls tail and possibly tying them for first by Sunday with two huge match ups between the two left, having Rose back wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. But Chicago needs Rose healthy for the postseason more then anything. Homecourt advantage is nice, but it’s no substitute for Rose and is useless without him.

But if Rose can fully and actively participate in practice and proves he’s ready to come back at full strength then no on in Chicago will be opposed to that.

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