By Jean-Paul Salamanca ( | First Posted: Feb 19, 2013 07:20 PM EST

Derrick Rose has now been cleared to practice in five-on-five scrimmages, according to new reports, which say he started Monday. Could his return be close behind? (Photo : Reuters)

Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose continues on with his path to recovery, and this week, he jumped one last hurdle--full contact five-on-five scrimmages.

Rose was given the go-ahead to practice in full team scrimmages, which he began on Monday afternoon, ESPN reported.

Rose has made several statements in the last week that he was not ready to return yet, and may not even return this season.

"I'm not coming back until I'm 110%," he told USA Today last week. "Who knows when that can be?"

However, being cleared to practice in the full scrimmages that simulate NBA action is the last major step that Rose needed to clear.

John Paxson, vice president of basketball operations for the Bulls, said last week that the team would be carefully monitoring how Rose and his surgically repaired left ACL would respond to the scrimmages before giving the former league MVP the green light to return to the Bulls' active roster.

On Monday, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau spoke briefly regarding Rose's practice.

"He did what everyone else did," Tom Thibodeau said of Rose. "Just a normal practice."

"He was able to get out there, it was good," Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich said. "I'm sure it was helpful for him to give him a good gauge of where he's at."

Despite missing Rose, Chicago has a 30-22 win-loss record in the NBA standings and is only a game and a half behind Indiana in the race for the Central Division title.

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