Derrick Rose out; Taj Gibson returns

Updated: November 26, 2010, 9:29 PM ET
By Nick Friedell | ESPNChicago.com

DENVER -- Suffering from a stiff neck, Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose missed Friday's game against the Denver Nuggets.

Rose started to experience discomfort in his neck after Wednesday night's double-overtime win over the Phoenix Suns.

"You know when you get a neck cramp, or you're about to get a neck cramp, and you can feel a little bit?" Rose said. "After the game [on Wednesday night] it just tightened up and ever since then it's been tight."

Rose had to leave the team's Thanksgiving dinner early on Thursday night because his neck was still bothering him. He wore a heating pad on the back of his neck as he made his way into shootaround on Friday morning.

"I can't look a certain way without turning my whole body," Rose said. "That's kind of irritating. This is like my first real neck injury in a long time. I think my last one was in high school."

After coming off such an emotional double overtime win on Wednesday night in Phoenix, Rose said it was "hard" to sit out.

"It's tough," Rose said before the game. "But I guess I just have to suck it up. It's all about trust and having confidence in your team. And I got confidence and I trust in my teammates."

Rose and coach Tom Thibodeau said they weren't sure if the All-Star point guard would be able to play Saturday night in Sacramento.

"It's too early [to say]," Thibodeau said. "It's day to day. Hopefully, it will be better [Saturday].

C.J. Watson started in the place of Rose, who ranks third in the NBA in scoring (26.3 points per game) and eighth in assists (8.3 per game).

In another injury news, power forward Taj Gibson (right ankle) will play Friday. Gibson missed Wednesday's game in Phoenix due to the injury.

Meanwhile, Nuggets guard Chauncey Billups missed a second consecutive game with a sprained right wrist and broken nose sustained last Saturday against New Jersey.

Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Nick Friedell | email

Chicago Bulls beat reporter
Nick Friedell is the Chicago Bulls beat reporter for ESPN Chicago. Friedell is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and joined ESPNChicago.com for its launch in April 2009.

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