MEMPHIS, Tenn. --- Derrick Rose wants to play against the Phoenix Suns at the United Center on Tuesday night even if it might be wise to lets his sprained left big toe heal completely.
Either way, it's his decision. Coach Tom Thibodeau and the training staff may want to keep him on the bench but he said whether or not 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 collegiately 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 is not only pain tolerance but also mobility. The sprained big toe impairs his ability to push off and change direction. When asked it would make sense to miss a game or two to let the toe fully 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 will likely 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."