Derrick Rose's return is uncertain

Updated: January 19, 2012, 11:04 AM ET
ESPNChicago.com

Derrick Rose won't practice on Thursday as he recovers from a toe injury, and Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said the team will "be smart" with its plan for playing the reigning MVP.

Rose missed his second straight game on Tuesday, a 118-97 victory over the Phoenix Suns, with what he describes as turf toe but Thibodeau calls "more of a sprain."

"Basically it's day to day," Thibodeau said Wednesday on "Carmen, Jurko & Harry" on ESPN 1000. "We'll see how it goes. It's a little bit better today. He won't practice [Thursday], and he will get treatment. We'll see where we are after that."

Rose, who missed back to back games for the first time in almost two full seasons, was wearing a walking boot as he sat on the bench in street clothes on Tuesday. On Monday Rose described the pain in his toe as a "six or seven" on a scale of 1-10.

Rose gets some extra time with a rare two-day break on Wednesday and Thursday following a stretch of 12 games in 17 days this month. The Bulls return to the court against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday.

Thibodeau declined to speculate whether Rose would play against Cleveland and rookie point guard Kyrie Irving.

"We have to get the swelling out and hopefully it will be corrected and he will go from there," Thibodeau said. "He's got a history with turf toe so we are concerned about that. But he's always responded well to treatment, but we also want to be smart so if there is risk for further injury then obviously we are not going to play him. But if he's feeling fine then we're going to play him."

Rose injured his left big toe during the first quarter of a Jan. 10 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves when Anthony Tolliver fell on him and jammed it into the floor.

Rose is averaging 20.8 points and 8.7 assists per game, pushing the Bulls to a league-best 13-3 start.

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