- Nick Friedell, ESPN Staff Writer
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As a contingency plan, the Bulls
signed guard Mike James for the remainder of the season, the team announced Thursday.
Thursday's game will be the 12th consecutive Rose has missed. He's sat out 21 games this season in which the Bulls are 14-7.
Rose said he will definitely face the New York Knicks on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. He admitted he is a little nervous about tweaking the nagging injury.
"You know the way that I play, I'm not holding back. My game is to be aggressive and try to get people going," Rose said. "I should be (good for the playoffs). My body was nicked up earlier in the year; (those injuries) are gone. The only thing that I'm worried about now is my groin."
James, 36, played in eight games in three stints with the Bulls this season, averaging 5.4 points and 3.4 assists in 11.4 minutes per game.
Coach Tom Thibodeau acknowledged after Wednesday's practice he would like to give backup point guard C.J. Watson more rest when he can. Watson continues to play through some lingering pain related to the ankle injury he suffered earlier in the year.
"I think this time of the year you have to strike that balance of the rest and playing," Thibodeau said. "We also want him to be in rhythm down the road, so I think just step by step. If he needs to take ... the way the schedule is this month for us, if we need to sit him out of some practices, we'll probably do that, give him an opportunity to rest there."
At times, Watson has looked fatigued on the floor. He is shooting just 7-for-32 from the field in his past four games, but Thibodeau is confident that with more rest and the addition of Rose back into the lineup, Watson will get back on track.
"To me, one of C.J.'s strengths is the way he shoots the ball," Thibodeau said. "He's played through some nicks, he's banged up a little bit, but he's got a lot of mental toughness and he's done a great job filling in for Derrick while Derrick's been out. Overall, he's had a terrific year for us."