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Rose practices, game-time vs. Heat

DEERFIELD, Ill. --- Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, who missed Tuesday's game against the New York Knicks with a sprained right ankle, practiced Wednesday and is a game-time decision to face the Miami Heaton Thursday, according to coach Tom Thibodeau.

The swelling in the ankle, which Rose injured in the second quarter of Sunday's game in New York, is gone.

"At this time of the year you've just got to be smart with all that stuff," Thibodeau said. "He probably could have played last night, he wanted to play. We just thought the smart thing was to not have him play, don't take any chances. He's made great progress with all his stuff, and he's feeling good. It was a freaky thing that happened to him and he's fine now."

Rose was seen warming up before Tuesday's game, but he decided not to play.

It was the 23rd game Rose missed with a variety of injuries, including turf toe, back spasms and a groin injury. The Bulls, who own the best record in the NBA at 44-14, are 16-7 without Rose.

"Derrick's a great player, and we want him to be out there," Thibodeau said. "We feel good about the guys who are filling in and getting the job done, and that's been a strength of the club all year. But Derrick's got to get some games under his belt, too, so he can play well. It's not an individual sport, it's a team sport so you have to get your timing with your teammates and you have to get your defensive schemes down and all that. So him playing is important but not at the expense him playing hurt or injured. We certainly don't want him to do that. So if he's healthy enough to play, he's going to play, if he's not, he won't."