ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose showed up at this year’s media day before practices started, healthy for the first time in a while. After battling a variety of injuries since winning the Kia MVP award in 2011, and playing a combined 71 games over the last three seasons, Rose was ready to enter the 2015-16 season with his health as complete as it had been in years.
But Rose can’t seem to catch a break. During Chicago’s first day of practice, he got hit in the face by an elbow, suffered a left orbital fracture and missed several weeks of the exhibition season recovering from surgery. So far, Rose has played in all nine regular-season games for the Bulls, although wearing a facemask and suffering from double vision, a remnant of the injury. In that time, he’s averaged a career-low 12.6 ppg along with 6 apg, in 32.2 mpg, for the 6-3 Bulls.
Rose has talked about having to be patient and waiting for the double vision to clear up with time. But earlier today, Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said Rose may be playing through the double vision longer than most anticipated …
As ESPN Chicago’s Nick Friedell reports, Rose says all he can do is to keep working and wait for his vision to clear up…
“This is my first time hearing about it,” Rose said of the possible three-month timeline. “But you kind of have that hope in your mind that it gets well a lot quicker. But for this to be seven or eight [weeks] out and still the same way, I can’t do nothing but live with it. Get the most out of every day, keep putting my deposits in and keep working on my game until my eye gets better.
“But I’m loving the way that I’m working out, I’m loving the way that we’re playing. We’re winning games so that’s the only thing that I’m worried about. Everything else will come.”
Rose said after the first game of the season that he was playing with one eye closed, but said he’s now able to keep both eyes open on the floor as he gets more comfortable with the protective mask.
“I’m playing with both of them open now,” Rose said. “But [my vision] is still blurry when I look certain ways. But that’s part of [the recovery] I guess.”
Rose acknowledged being a little frustrated during games because of the ongoing issues, but he didn’t want to use that as an excuse.
“I’m missing a lot of shots where I normally hit,” Rose said. “Floaters or layups I normally hit, but everything else will come. Just getting my legs under me. It’s still preseason for me. … I’m still warming up.”
The noticeable difference in Rose’s game to this point is his long-range shooting. He’s just 1-for-18 from beyond the arc, but remains confident that his shot is rounding into form.
“All of it is going to come,” Rose said. “It’s all about putting your game back together, too. It’s the first time I had surgery on my face so that’s something different. The depth perception of the rim is a little bit thrown off, so I’m dealing with that. It’s all going to come to me.”