Thursday August 21st, 2014

Derrick Rose told reporters Wednesday that he will play in Team USA's scrimmage Friday night against Puerto Rico.

"Just trying to protect myself, just knowing that this is a long, long schedule and this is the most basketball I'll be playing in two years," Rose said. "So I'm just going in, trying to gear up, making sure that I'm healthy."

More: USA Basketball routs Dominican Republic in Derrick Rose's absence

Rose was held out of Wednesday night's exhibition against the Dominican Republic after participating in a team shootaround Wednesday morning and pre-game warmups.

Team USA's staff reportedly wanted to give Rose an extra day off after he played 24 minutes in last Saturday's exhibition against Brazil, his first game action since November.

The 25-year-old point guard has drawn praise from Team USA coaches for his performance in workouts after playing in only 10 games over the past two seasons with the Bulls because of two severe knee injuries.

"It's not my knees," Rose said. "You don't have to worry about that."

The three-time All Star and one-time MVP is considered a favorite to earn one of 12 spots on Team USA's roster for the FIBA Basketball World Cup, which begins in Spain on Aug. 30.

More: Coach K to cut USA roster to 12 by Saturday

- Chris Johnson

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