- Nick Friedell, ESPN Staff Writer
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Rose, who suffered the injury during the second quarter of Sunday's loss in New York, was wearing a walking boot early Monday but later was seen without it. He tested the injury prior to Tuesday's contest, running and shooting for several minutes in front of Bulls GM Gar Forman, VP of Basketball Operations John Paxson and trainer Fred Tedeschi. The Chicago Tribune initially reported Rose's situation.
"You just deal with it as best you can," Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said. "From what our medical people are saying [the injuries] aren't related at all. They're all separate injuries. And sometimes you have that. It's just the way it goes. You deal with it the best you can; he's been very diligent with his rehab, so hopefully he'll be back sooner than later."
Rose did not think this would keep him out the rest of the regular season. After missing 22 games, Rose said it's important to get back in a rhythm with his teammates.
"It's huge, especially right now we have to catch a rhythm where I've been out the majority of the year with all these injuries," he said. "A couple other players have been out a little bit. But if anything we're happy that we've been together; this is basically the same team from last year. We know everybody's tendencies on the team. We know how to play with one another. But it's going to take a little time for us to jell."
Paxson said Tuesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000 that the team won't risk anything with Rose.
"Everybody knows that when you go out and play you always run the risk of something happening," Paxson said. "It's just unfortunate because he had been out for the 12 games and came back. But there's nothing you can do to protect against ankle sprains and things like that. Guys tape up and go. We're not sure what that means for [Tuesday night]. He's obviously sore and that type of thing, and we obviously aren't going to risk anything with him."
The reigning MVP had missed 12 games before Sunday because of a groin injury. After missing just one game last season, Rose has missed games because of toe, back and groin injuries this year.
Paxson pointed to the lockout-shortened season as playing a big factor in Rose's injuries.
"Everybody wants to start looking for theories. It's a part of playing," Paxson said. "There's injuries. My feeling is that ... there is no way of scientifically proving this, but this year the fact that there was a short training camp and the schedule being what it has been has affected a lot of players this year.
"I don't know how you determine it, but my eye tells me what my eye tells me, and having played the game and knowing how valuable training camp is for players to get their bodies ready for the season, the fact that we rushed into this thing this year, in my mind, that has a lot to do with it."
Rose dealt with an ankle injury during last season's playoffs, but didn't miss any games because of it. He is averaging 23 points and 7.9 assists this season.
The Bulls' backcourt has been a revolving door all season with injuries to Rose and Richard Hamilton, who has played in only 19 games because of groin and shoulder injuries. Hamilton has played the past three games after his latest absence, a 14-game stint on the bench with a shoulder injury.
"The reality of the situation is we're still in good shape for the playoffs in terms of our seeding, but I think my biggest worry and I think [general manager] Gar's [Forman] biggest worry is we've been hoping to get some continuity going into the playoffs, getting our roster back intact and trying to find a way to start playing well leading into the playoffs and playing our best basketball heading in," Paxson said. "But it's very difficult when you have injuries and your rotations aren't set."