Derrick Rose made his much-anticipated return at the start of preseason, but the Chicago Bulls superstar was nowhere to be found over weekend. He skipped the team’s contest in Rio de Janeiro against the Washington Wizards this past Saturday due to knee soreness, as per ESPN’s staff.
While the decision to sit Rose came down from the team brass, the 2011 NBA MVP was wise to comply with it. According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, Rose had this to say about the benching:
"I’m good. I could’ve played, but the front office made the decision to sit me out. I can’t complain about it. It’s nothing huge. I know that I should be able to go next game."
After being sidelined for nearly 18 months, D-Rose simply cannot afford to suffer any setbacks on his surgically repaired left knee. Even a hint of soreness during the exhibition schedule calls for the most cautious plan of attack, in this case sitting out a meaningless game.
As per Johnson, Bulls general manager Gar Forman outright admitted that this is the team’s preferred method of handling the situation, at least during the preseason:
“If there’s soreness, then we’re going to rest. Any time you’re dealing with any type of injury or soreness you’re concerned. But it’s not a major red flag or huge concern.”
Remember, the 25-year-old missed an entire season due to a torn ACL suffered in the 2012 playoffs. The elongated absence had a devastating impact on both the player and organization, and it’s not something that either party wants to experience again.
When he’s actually been on the hardwood, Rose has looked good and is definitely close to 100 percent healthy. He’s had issues with stamina—something to be expected after being away from the game for so long—but is playing well overall.
In two contests, Rose has put up solid numbers. He dropped 13 points in 20 minutes in his debut against the Indiana Pacers and added another 13 points in 23 minutes against the Memphis Grizzlies. He’s been making all the cuts, while his trademark speed and explosiveness are clearly still there.
As long as Rose continues to work on his conditioning, it shouldn’t make a difference how many more preseason games he participates in before the Bulls’ opener on Oct. 29 against the Miami Heat.
That is when the results will start counting and when Rose needs to be out there performing his best.