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CHICAGO – Derrick Rose has taken another important step in his rehabilitation from a second consecutive season-ending knee surgery. Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Monday morning that the 2010-11 NBA MVP is now walking without crutches and could start traveling with the team soon.

"He's doing fine," Thibodeau said. "He's off the crutches. He's doing more and more, but he still has a long way to go. He'll probably start traveling in the next couple of weeks, but he's doing great."

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Rose tore the medial meniscus in his right knee on November 22 in a game against the Portland Trail Blazers, and has been ruled out for the rest of the 2013-14 season after undergoing surgery to repair it.

He sat out the entire 2012-13 season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the 2012 playoffs.

In 10 games this season before the latest injury, Rose was showing significant rust from the ACL injury. He averaged 15.9 points a game on 35.4% shooting and attempted just 3.2 free throws a game, lacking the explosiveness that once allowed him to get to the foul line at will.

Two weeks after his surgery, Rose told reporters that he might return for the playoffs if he's healthy, but Thibodeau said he is treating it as though he's out for the season. It is unlikely Rose will play again until the start of the 2014-15 season.

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