Derrick Rose practices some

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose participated in portions of Friday's practice, but he is still considered to be a game-time decision for Saturday afternoon's game against the New Jersey Nets.

"He did some," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said. "He's feeling better. Did some shooting. So we'll see how he is [Saturday]."

Rose missed his fourth consecutive game on Thursday night against the Boston Celtics because of back spasms. He has missed nine already this season. The Bulls are 7-2 without him.

"I think if he's feeling good, he should play," Thibodeau said. "If he's not feeling good, he shouldn't. So he's got to be cleared medically first. And we want him to be pain free. Those are the two things that we're looking at. Each day he's gotten better, he's done more. We're just going step by step."

As he's stated in the past, Thibodeau said that an opposing team's record would have no bearing on whether or not Rose would come back into the lineup.

"If a guy can play, he'll play," Thibodeau said. "We don't want anyone playing who is injured or who could do further damage. But that decision shouldn't be based on what may be perceived [about] an opponent's record. Because often times, when you look at a team, their record may not be an indication of how good they are. They may have had injuries themselves. And they might be playing well. I don't think that decision should be based on record."

As for Bulls guard Richard Hamilton, he was back at practice Friday shooting jumpers. Thibodeau said the veteran is still improving, but it sounds unlikely he will be back before the All-Star break.

"He did a little more today, too," Thibodeau said. "He did some shooting so that was a good sign. He's feeling better. Still has a long way to go, but he's doing a lot better."

Hamilton has only played in 11 games this season because of a groin injury and a thigh bruise.

Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com.