It's all created a blurry picture. Yet, at the same time, Rose has been participating in five-on-five drills since the All-Star break, and a video of him dunking before the Oklahoma City game on Sunday sparked more enthusiasm among some fans.
"He sees how he's improving," Thibodeau said. "As I've said all along, we all have to understand the intensity of an NBA game is totally different than practice. So he's preparing himself for that and he'll know when he's ready and we'll know he's ready. So we just got to be patient."
Is it more mental or physical for him at this point?
"There's physical, there's mental, there's both," Thibodeau said. "He's handled himself great. And as I said, we'll know when he's ready."
For now, he's searching for solutions, a way to stop this slide. The Bulls are 4-8 in February, just their second losing month in 21/2 seasons under Thibodeau.
"There's a fine line between winning and losing," he said. "Oftentimes, it's the bounce of the ball. It's a loose ball here, a loose ball there. It's one play. We can't get down. When you're facing some adversity, you have to be mentally tough. You have to get through things. I'm confident that we will."