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Derrick Rose will make call whether he plays tonight vs. Suns

Marreese Speights is beaten rebound C.J. Watswho started Monday scored 17 points.  |  Nikki Boertman~AP

Marreese Speights is beaten to a rebound to C.J. Watson, who started Monday and scored 17 points. | Nikki Boertman~AP

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Suns at Bulls

The facts: 7, CSN, 1000-AM.

Updated: February 18, 2012 8:14AM

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Derrick Rose wants to play against the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night at the United Center, even if it might be wise to let his sprained left big toe heal.

Coach Tom Thibodeau and the training staff might want to keep him on the bench, but Rose said whether he plays is his call.

“It’s up to me if I want to go out there and play,” Rose said. “It’s my decision.”

Every home game is a homecoming for the Chicago native, but playing in Memphis has extra significance because he played in college here for one season. Two years ago, Rose had to sit out a game here because of a wrist injury. He was fuming on the bench Monday while missing his second game this season.

“It’s always fun to be here, but I’m kind of mad that I didn’t get the opportunity to go out there and play,” Rose said. “There’s always next year.”

Rose said the issue isn’t only pain tolerance, but also mobility. The sprained big toe impairs his ability to push off and change direction. When asked if it would make sense to miss a game or two to let the toe heal, he was noncommittal.

“You know the way I am,” Rose said. “I’ve got that old-school mentality where I don’t want to miss a game. It hurts missing games.”

He went through his normal pregame routine before he decided his toe was too painful to play. He likely will go through the same routine Tuesday night.

“I’m very surprised,” Rose said of the flare-up. “It’s kind of irritating. You want it to go away, but it always finds its way back.”

Watson returns

Before the game, C.J. Watson said he probably wouldn’t play until late in the week. Less than an hour later, he was playing. By game’s end, he had 17 points.

“I can move it pretty good,” he said. “I can shoot all right. The pain will hopefully go away throughout the season. I just wanted to get out there and play and help my team.”

Watson wore a padded sleeve on the elbow and twice crashed to the floor on it, but he remained in the game.

“You can’t say enough about what he has done to get back this quickly,” Thibodeau said. “That was a positive sign for us.”

Rose honored

Rose was named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week after averaging 24.0 points and 9.3 assists. Rose, who missed a game because of the bad toe, posted two point-assist double-doubles.

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