Derrick Rose sprained his left ankle in Saturday's Bulls loss to the Pacers in Game 4 of their NBA playoff series, but says "I'm definitely playing" in Game 5 this Tuesday. K.C. Johnson reports Rose did not practice Monday afternoon, which may discourage Bulls fans, but fear not: the MVP front-runner jettisoned his walking boot in favor of flip-flops. Further, an MRI scan revealed no damage beyond the sprain.â†µâ†µ
Rose classified the sprain as "minor" and said "it's getting better every day." According to Johnson, he "refused to use the injury as an excuse" for shooting 3-of-16 from the floor after returning to the game with the sprain.â†µâ†µ
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau agreed with his star point guard's assessment. "I think he's fine," he said.â†µâ†µ
The top-seeded Bulls lead the Pacers, 3-1, in the series. A Game 5 win would enable Chicago to celebrate its series victory on the United Center floor. Tipoff for Game 5 is set for 7 p.m. on CSN Chicago and TNT.