(The Sports Xchange) – Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose said he felt great after the team’s first practice of the season on Saturday.
Rose was pleased with how his surgically-repaired left knee responded.
“I feel (like I am) back,” Rose told ESPNChicago.com. “I’m not worried about anything. I’m reacting when I’m out there, just trying to win every scrimmage and just trying to push everybody to be better.”
Rose missed all of last season after tearing his ACL in the first round of the 2012 playoffs. He practiced during the second half of last season, but never felt comfortable enough to play in a game, even though he was cleared to play.
“I got confidence in my knee,” Rose said. “There’s no testing anymore. It’s me just going out there and playing hard and attacking.”
It was the first time Rose participated in five-on-five drills since the injury. Prior to Saturday, Rose worked on his own or with small groups.
“I think he’s comfortable,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. “His body is strong, real strong, and he’s attacking. Today he attacked the basket a lot more than he ever did last year. … He doesn’t have to pace himself like he did so that part’s a lot better. The change of direction is much better. The driving and finishing is a lot better. His timing’s still not there but it’s a good start.”
Rose’s teammates are glad to have him back.
“It felt great,” center Joakim Noah said. “He looks a lot more comfortable. I think everybody’s healthy. A good Day One.”
Meanwhile Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant said at the team’s media day he has no idea when he will return from his Achilles tendon injury.
Bryant, 35, was confident throughout the offseason that he was ahead of schedule, but was unsure of his status when questioned about it on Saturday.
When asked if he would make it back some time in the preseason or even the start of the regular season, Bryant repeatedly said he did not know when he would play again
He gave a similar answer when asked about how he was progressing in rehab.
“I don’t really know how to answer that question,” Bryant said. “I feel good. I don’t really have a timetable. I need to get in shape. I’ll wait until I’m ready. Then I’ll get out there and go.”
Bryant tore his left Achilles tendon against the Golden State Warriors in April. Recovery time is typically six to nine months.
The Philadelphia 76ers announced that they signed free agent centers Solomon Alabi and Nayal Koshwal.
Alabi was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks in the second round in 2010 and his rights were traded to the Toronto Raptors, for whom he played two seasons. He spent last season with the Idaho Stampede of the NBA Development League and Ikaros Chalkidas of the Greek League.
Koshwal went undrafted in 2010 after three years at De Paul. He spent last season in the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas before spending time on several minor league teams.