Derrick Rose returns to practice

ByNick Friedell ESPN logo
Friday, October 16, 2015

CHICAGO -- Derrick Rose, wearing a new mask as he continues to recover from a fractured left orbital, still isn't sure if he will be ready for the Bulls' regular-season opener Oct. 27 against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"Who knows?" Rose said. "My eye is getting better every day, so that's the only thing I can worry about right now. ... You really just got to wait, see how it feels when I'm able to open my eyes and the double vision is gone, so you just got to wait for it."

A three-time All-Star, Rose returned to the practice floor Thursday for the first time since Sept. 29, when he took an elbow from Taj Gibson in the face during practice.

Rose had surgery Sept. 30 and was expected to miss two weeks, but the swelling around his left eye has persisted, and he said he is still having issues with double vision.

Rose said he doesn't have pain around the eye but that he is adjusting to the mask, which he wore for the first time Thursday. He said he might keep the mask on if he has some early success with it, calling it a potential alter ego.

"I hate getting my face touched, so if it's a thing where I come out and I'm feeling it and we're playing good, you might see it for the rest of my career," Rose said.

Speaking publicly for the first time since media day, Rose addressed the frustration from some fans regarding his comments about free agency two years from now.

"I think everybody knows why I'm here," Rose said. "That's why I picked this profession, is just to win games. No matter how we win games, it's all about winning, so my No. 1 goal is to win a championship. This is my eighth year in the league. I was hoping that I would win one before then. But it's all in God's plan, so just got to follow along with it and keep my goals [high]."

As for the criticism, Rose said he has dealt with so much over the past few years that it doesn't affect him anymore.

He said he is just happy to be back on the floor after yet another injury-related setback.

"Getting out of surgery, [the eye] was throbbing," Rose said. "Feeling like a blowtorch on your face. Just staying in the house for two weeks feels like I was in jail or something, but I'm happy to be out, happy to be with my teammates and happy to be back on the same mission previous to this."

After dealing with three serious knee injuries in the past three-plus years, Rose said the eye injury seems minor to him.

"I'm just happy that it's just not my knees," Rose said. "My eyes, anything else, I can deal with. As long as it's not my legs, I'm fine."

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