Derrick Rose’s season got off to a rough start when he got elbowed in the face on the first day of training camp and fractured his left orbital bone.
Rose had to get surgery, and he missed several weeks of practice before returning for the season-opener.
Upon returning, it was reported that Rose had double-vision from the injury. He still had swelling in the eye, was wearing a protective face mask, and noted to reporters that he was seeing two of them at times.
And through nine games, Rose’s numbers may be indicative of his troubled eyesight. He’s averaging a career-low 12.6 points per game on just 35% shooting with 5%(!) three-point shooting. Worse yet for the Bulls, it may not get better.
According to Bulls head coach Fred Hoiberg, Rose may be dealing with this problem through January or February (via ESPN’s Nick Friedell):
“[The doctors] said it could be as long as three months,” Hoiberg said. “But [the vision] has continued to improve, and that’s obviously a positive.”
Interestingly, Rose seemed to disagree with the prognosis:
“This is my first time hearing about it. 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.”
It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time Hoiberg has seemingly had communication issues with one of his players. He and Joakim Noah had different versions of whose idea it was to bring Noah off the bench. Perhaps Rose is just trying to downplay the significance of his double-vision, but it’s strange that he says he hadn’t heard the three-month timeline before.
Considering Rose’s immense injury history, it’s surprising the Bulls aren’t handling this situation with more care. He returned from the injury fairly quickly, but if his vision is as bad as he describes, and it won’t get better for three months, it would seem prudent to hold him out.
However, the Bulls likely aren’t willing to give Rose several months off to let his eye completely heal. If he’s able to play, the Bulls are seemingly willing to let him go out there, even if his sight isn’t what it should be.
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