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Derrick Rose says sprained toe isn’t an issue

Luol Deng who scored 14 Saturday works lane against Raptors’ Linas Kleiza.   |  Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

Luol Deng, who scored 14 on Saturday, works in the lane against the Raptors’ Linas Kleiza. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times

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Updated: February 16, 2012 8:31AM

For Derrick Rose, his sprained left toe is yesterday’s news.

“I’m not even trying to think about it,” Rose said. “I’m playing. To me, that was a thing of the past, and I’m just trying to get over it.”

Rose reported no additional soreness after he had 25 points, seven assists and four rebounds in Friday night’s victory in Boston. He’s still wearing a walking boot because it’s more comfortable than a shoe, and he’s still wearing an insole. Other than that, he said he’s not even thinking about his toe.

“If anything, [the training staff is] just worried about me re-injuring it because I came back kind of soon,” Rose said. “I was fine and I wanted to play [Friday], so it was up to me.”

He scored 18 points in 41 minutes on Saturday night against the Toronto Raptors.

Ode to Deng

Whatever the Bulls need, Luol Deng seems to provide.

The veteran forward had 21 points and 16 rebounds in Friday night’s victory against the Celtics. It was his third consecutive double-double. He had 14 points and two rebounds against the Raptors

“What can you say about Luol?” coach Tom Thibodeau asked. “Every night that guy is on the boards, plays great defense, hits every big basket for you. You can’t say enough about him.”

Deng also guarded Paul Pierce in Boston, holding him to 13 points on 3-for-12 shooting.

“I have a lot of respect for Paul,” Deng said. “I’ve watched him a lot. When I’m working on my game I watch a lot of stuff he does. Whenever I play Paul I just try to make it hard for him. The thing that always gets me is his pump fake. We were talking about it. Every game I’ve played him in my career he has got me on a pump fake.”

Injury update

C.J. Watson has been hoping to recover from his elbow injury in time play in Monday’s game in Memphis. While that remains his goal, Thibodeau said he wants his backup point guard to test it in practice first.

“Let me qualify that: I will ­consider a shoot-around a ­practice,” Thibodeau said.

Because the Bulls won’t have a shootaround before Monday’s noon start against the Grizzlies or before hosting the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night, Watson’s return might be pushed back to Friday’s game in Cleveland.

Rip Hamilton (groin) could return for Friday’s game against the Cavaliers as well.

“He’s still day-to-day,” Thibodeau said. “We just want to be real smart with him. We don’t want it to re-occur.”

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