Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls launches the game...

Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls launches the game winning shot while defended by Dahntay Jones #1 and Danny Granger #33 of the Indiana Pacers in Game three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. (April 21, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose says his sprained left ankle is improving and he expects to play in Game 5 against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night.

Rose was wearing a brace on his ankle as he participated on a limited basis in the morning shootaround. He says the ankle “feels totally different,” that it’s not as stiff. He says he might not need a painkilling shot after all.

The Bulls lead the Pacers 3-1 and would love to close out the tough first-round series at the United Center. An MVP favorite, Rose was injured in the first quarter of Game 4 and finished with 15 points and 10 assists in an 89-84 loss.

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