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Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Derrick Rose in; C.J. Watson sits

By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com

CHICAGO -- Before he made his second straight start after missing five games with back spasms, Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose said he is pain free and not worried about the injury anymore.

Rose returned to the court on Monday, scoring 23 points in a victory over the Atlanta Hawks. He chose not to speak to the media after the game and said Wednesday he was just tired of talking about his back.

Rose said he will continue to see a local chiropractor, Dr. Stuart Yoss, and do extra stretching exercises for the rest of the season.

"I've got to go see him after shootarounds, and on days off, just go over there for an hour so he could work on me," said Rose, who scored 16 points in the Bulls' 110-91 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

The Bulls were without Rose's backup, C.J. Watson, for a second straight game on Wednesday. Watson is sidelined with concussion-like symptoms. He slammed into New Jersey Nets forward Kris Humphries during Saturday afternoon's loss. He has not been back on the floor since then because of the NBA's new concussion policy, which was instituted before the regular season began.

The policy states that if a player is diagnosed with a concussion, he will have to show he's healthy enough for competition. The first step is to be free of symptoms. Then the player must go through increasing steps of exertion -- riding a stationary bike, jogging, doing agility work and taking part in non-contact drills -- without symptoms returning.

A player can then be cleared by a neurologist.

When asked if he was concerned that the issue with Watson may be lingering, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said: "Hopefully not. It's all precaution right now. We'll see how he is after the break."

The veteran coach was in favor of the new policy.

"I think it's smart," Thibodeau said. "As the information comes forward, I think it's a good decision by the league to play it safe."

ESPNChicago.com's Jon Greenberg contributed to this report. Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.