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updated: 2/22/2012 7:26 PM

Rose says he's feeling no back pain

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  • Derrick Rose, here defending Atlanta forward Josh Smith, says his back is feeling fine after his return to the floor Monday against the Hawks.

      Derrick Rose, here defending Atlanta forward Josh Smith, says his back is feeling fine after his return to the floor Monday against the Hawks.
    Associated Press

 
 

Derrick Rose left the United Center on Monday without speaking to reporters.

So he took some time before Wednesday's game against Milwaukee to provide insight on his return from five games off with back spasms.

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"I don't feel any pain anymore," he said. "I'm stretching a lot, making sure I'm stretching at night, in the morning."

Rose had 23 points, 6 assists and 5 rebounds in Monday's win over Atlanta, hitting 8 of 18 shots. He drove to the basket, fell to the floor a few times and kept playing.

"I felt good," he said. "If anything, I was trying to test myself to see if I still have it. I hit a couple shots. Some of them I usually hit, I miss. I was just trying to play my game, that's aggressive and it started out pretty good."

Heading into the final game before the all-star break, Rose thinks he will have no problem playing in Sunday's main event in Orlando, his second straight all-star starting assignment.

"I'm good. I don't feel anything in my back," he said. "My hamstring's not tight. I feel loose. I feel good. Fatigue is another thing, from not playing.

"One or two days can mess up your conditioning. Not playing for a week can definitely throw off your game. I'm surprised I hit some of the shots I hit after not playing or not doing anything for that long."

Rose was asked if he thinks the Bulls are a better team than they were last year. As of Wednesday morning, they were 26-8, a slightly better winning percentage than last season's 62-20 in the first year under coach Tom Thibodeau.

"Better than last year? I would say yeah," Rose said. "We find ways to win. Last year it was just new to everyone. This year we're more comfortable with how Thibs wants to play, knowing that he wants us to go out there and play hard and play together all the time. I think we do that a majority of the time."

Not surprisingly, Rose denied the weekend rumor that he went to management and encouraged a trade for Lakers forward Pau Gasol.

"That's something I wouldn't say to anyone, that I need someone to come to this team or try to get rid of someone on this team," Rose said. "It was all false, something I never did.

"I'm good with the teammates I have. I've always been saying that. The team that we have has been winning games. We're not in position to look to trade anyone right now."

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