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Bulls' Rose feeling better; eyes opener

CHICAGO -- Bulls guard Derrick Rose began doing cutting drills on Wednesday and said he expects to play in the regular-season opener on Oct. 29.

"I'll be playing, no doubt in my mind, I want to play," Rose said Wednesday when asked if he'll face the San Antonio Spurs. "The trainers have been saying I'm looking good, running better every day.

"It's a little sore, but I'll be fine."

Rose hasn't played or practiced since a Oct. 2 game against the Indiana Pacers because of an inflamed tendon in his right ankle.

"He worked out yesterday a little bit and was a little sore, and today he worked out and felt better," Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro said. "So that's a good sign. So we'll see how sore he is tomorrow and try to get him another workout and just try to build it up and be smart about it."

Rose said he could even play in a preseason game Friday, but Del Negro said he doesn't expect that to happen.

"It's feeling better," Rose said. "I was running a little bit more ... today was the first time doing cuts, and it felt good, so hopefully I'll be all right.

"The tendon in my ankle has fluid around it. That's why it's hurting. It's not on the bone or anything. It's going away slowly. Each day I'm getting better at what I'm doing."

It's uncertain how much Rose would be able to play against the Spurs if he only gets in a couple of practices next week.

"I want to continually build it up, and then make sure he gets a good practice in hopefully next week and go from there," Del Negro said. "As he gets the soreness out of there, we'll give him some more things to do, but he was moving pretty good today on his drills ... the cutting, stopping and turning and all that, so we'll monitor that and also push him a little more tomorrow and just monitor how he feels in the morning and go from there."

Rose said it hurts him not to be able to play.

"[It's] the only time in basketball I really was injured," he said. "So that kind of hurt knowing I had to sit out that long and strengthen my ankle back up.

"Now they say if I'm not 100 percent, don't waste my time out there, because I might get it reinjured. You just want to play no matter what. Probably if this were the playoffs or the regular season, they probably would have given me something like a pill or shot of something, but there's no need for it at the beginning of the season."