Although not good enough to overcome Miami, a healthy Derrick Rose and the Bulls will make the Heat sweat in May

Derrick Rose is brimming with testicular fortitude.

Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said Wednesday that shelved superstar Derrick Rose has begun partaking in full contact practices while recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee.

The 24-year-old Rose, a three-time NBA All-Star who became the youngest player ever to earn the Most Valuable Player award in 2011, suffered the severe injury on April 28 during Game 1 of the 2012 Eastern Conference quarterfinals series against the Philadelphia 76ers.

“He’s full contact, yeah,” said Thibodeau, 55, who agreed to lead Chicago in June 2010 and won the NBA Coach of the Year award in 2011. “He can do all the cutting, he can do shooting, he can go off the dribble.”

Rose, who Chicago took out of the University of Memphis with the first pick in the 2008 NBA Draft, is expected to return at roughly the All-Star break.

Sitting atop the Eastern Conference Central Division with an impressive 28-17 record, the Bulls can’t genuinely compete with the Miami Heat, New York Knicks or Brooklyn Nets sans a blooming Rose.

Conversely, if the wounded Bull returns mended, playing alongside solid ballplayers Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah, Chicago and Rose can overcome most teams in the association when the playoffs commence in April.

Out of respect to Miami, it is difficult to envision Chicago preventing the Heat from going back-to-back in June.

However, with Derrick Rose, an incredible, and extremely likable, talent who was born and raised in one of Chicago’s most violent and dangerous neighborhoods in its Englewood area, the Bulls will make the Heat sweat and battle for their first Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy since 1998.

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