Derrick Rose is expected to be a gametime decision when the Chicago Bulls visit the Sacramento Kings Thursday night.

Still recuperating from a mildly sprained left hamstring, Rose has missed the team’s last two games after suffering the tweak during the team’s Nov. 13, 100-93 win over Toronto. “It feels a lot better, actually,” Rose told ESPN prior to Wednesday’s practice. “Just being able to practice, go through practice at a good pace and really react instead of thinking while I’m out there. It feels good just being on the court.”

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has been steadfast in his stance that his star guard has to and needs to play every time he’s physically capable. Prior to this season, the former league MVP had only played in 10 games over two seasons following back-to-back season-ending knee injuries.

In the five games he’s played in this season, the 26-year-old Rose has shown signs of being his old self. Rose is averaging 18 points, five assists and three rebounds.

“Today (I’ll) practice a little bit and Thursday see how I feel,” Rose said of his availability.

The Bulls also remain uncertain about the status of veteran center Pau Gasol, who like Rose, sat out the team’s Monday night 105-89 win over the Clippers. Gasol is still nursing a pulled calf muscle.

“The calf is a little better,” Gasol said. “Still a little tender there, but making progress. We’re taking it really one day at a time and see how it feels every morning. We’re going to do some stuff today, try to get it activated, see how it feels, see how it reacts … I just got to go with how I feel and be patient.”

Thursday night’s game is the first of a back-to-back for the Bulls, who face the Trailblazers on Friday. The Bulls are in the midst of a seven game road trip.

[Photo Credit: Keith Allison]