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Derrick Rose Steps Up, 'Should Be Fine' After Ankle Sprain

By Cody Westerlund--

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A day after struggling Bulls point guard Derrick Rose admitted that double vision continues to plague him and then suggested that teammate Jimmy Butler should shoot more, it was Rose himself who spearheaded Chicago's offense and played 33 of his best minutes of basketball this season in Monday evening's contest against the Pacers.

Then he encountered more adversity in the form of another injury.

Rose sprained his left ankle midway through the fourth quarter and left a game in which Chicago eked out a 96-95 win after Butler blocked Indiana star Paul George's nine-foot jumper just before the buzzer. It was the Bulls' third win in a row and left them sitting at 7-3 entering the annual circus trip in which they head out West, but all anyone could worry about at night's end was how Rose was doing.

So how bad is it, Derrick?

"Just twisted it when I went baseline, nothing out of the norm," said Rose, who's played in all 10 games this year. "Just a regular ankle sprain.

"Just throbs a little bit, nothing out of the norm."

Rose doesn't yet know if he'll miss any time, only saying he plans to get treatment. Chicago heads to Phoenix on Tuesday ahead of a Wednesday matchup against the Suns. The Bulls then face the defending champion Warriors on Friday at Oracle Arena.

While the immediate future remains uncertain, Rose didnt' seem concerned about any long-term effects. He was walking on the ankle under his own power, though noticeably limping, coach Fred Hoiberg said.

"I should be fine," Rose said. "I'm so used to twisting my ankles. When I was younger, that's one injury I always had."

Rose's ankle sprain overshadowed one of his top two performances of the season. He scored a team-high 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting and added six assists against zero turnovers. With a 2-for-2 showing from 3-point land, he surpassed his long range output in the season's first nine games. He had entered 1-of-18 from deep on the year.

Rose's improved shooting followed him recently getting extra shots up, Hoiberg said.

"He was great," Hoiberg said. "Derrick was awesome. His tempo on his shot was really, really good. He's been putting a ton of work in, not only before and after practice but coming in late nights and getting extra shots up. I thought his tempo was really good. You could tell that first three he shot, it was going in right when it left his fingers just because of his tempo. He's going to keep working, keep getting better, keep getting in better shape is a big thing."

While saying his double vision remained the "same," Rose was on point from mid-range in a way he wasn't previously, banking in a handful of shots. His nine makes came from the following distances, in feet: 16, 8, 25, 16, 20, 14, 12, 3 and 25. He raised his field-goal percentage to 37.7.

"It's an easy shot," Rose said of utilizing the glass. "They're giving me that shot. I think I shoot off the glass pretty good, and any opportunity I get, I'm going to continue to shoot off glass."

Beset by so many injuries through the years, both major and nagging, Rose has publicly maintained confidence all season. Again Monday, he made a half-joking, half-serious reference to feeling fortunate that nothing was broken or torn.

"It's a process," Rose said. "I'm never worried about a (single) performance."

Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for and covers the Bulls. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.

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