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Derrick Rose 'Definitely Playing' Tuesday Despite Ankle Sprain

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.

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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.

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Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau agreed with his star point guard's assessment. "I think he's fine," he said.

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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.