Derrick Rose Injury: Updates on Bulls Star's Orbital Fracture and Return

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist

USA Today

Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose is set to be healthy enough for the team's season opener after recovering from an orbital fracture. 

The point guard fell victim to the injury on Sept. 29 at practice. The team announced Rose had surgery the following day.

Continue for updates. 

Hoiberg Comments on Rose's Status

Monday, Oct. 26

Head coach Fred Hoiberg told reporters Rose will start the team's season opener Tuesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, adding he was "unsure" how many minutes the point guard would play.

On Oct. 22, Hoiberg said the point guard's double vision was a bigger concern than his conditioning, per Sean Highkin of Bleacher Report.

When asked Oct. 19 if he thought Rose would be ready for the Bulls' first regular-season game, Hoiberg responded, per Nick Friedell of ESPN:

I hope so. It's still too early to tell I think, as far as opening night is concerned. I know Derrick wants to be out there, but it's a long season, it's an 82-game season. If we don't feel that he's quite ready yet, whether it's mentally, physically, we'll be cautious with it. But I know that there's nothing that he would like more than to be out there on opening night.

Hoiberg was "very encouraged" by a session from Rose, according to Highkin.

Per Friedell, Hoiberg also mentioned how Rose would have to overcome the mental aspect of his latest injury:

I think the biggest thing is mentally with this injury because there's nothing structurally wrong with his body. He took a blow to the face and unfortunately broke a bone that you have to have complete inactivity throughout the recovery process. But as soon as that bone is healed—and he's getting close to that point—he should be able to resume normal activity. Again, that's the confidence of getting back there and getting back in game shape. It's amazing how quickly you lose that, from remembering days back as a player. You sprain your ankle, you can ride a bike, you can get [on] a treadmill, but nothing compares to getting out there in between those lines in a game setting with the fans, with the atmosphere. So that's the thing for Derrick, is getting over that mental hurdle and then getting himself right getting his body back to where it needs to be to play in an NBA game.

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Rose Comments on Status for Opening Night

Friday, Oct. 23

"Who knows? I don't want to jinx myself," Rose said when asked about the season opener after his preseason debut, per the Associated Press (via ESPN). "It's improving every day. So it looks like it's a go for me."

Rose added that he "felt good" on the floor Friday night against the Dallas Mavericks. He saw 10 minutes of action, scoring eight points on 4-of-6 shooting.

"Who knows," Rose said when asked whether or not he'll be ready to start the regular season, per K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune on Oct. 15.

Johnson also noted Rose said he hasn't felt pain since the first couple of days after he sustained the injury.

Rose Underwent Surgery After Suffering Fracture in Practice

Wednesday, Sept. 30

Friedell reported there was nothing structurally wrong after Rose's surgery, and he doesn't expect him to be limited when he returns to the floor.

According to the team's Sept. 29 press release, Rose suffered the injury after he "was struck in the face by an elbow." The point guard underwent tests that "determined he sustained a left orbital fracture."

According to a CBS Chicago report, teammate Jimmy Butler said the injury happened midway through practice. Taj Gibson also commented on the incident before it was revealed Rose suffered a fracture, per CBS Chicago:

He got a little elbow. We don’t know the severity of it, but hopefully he’ll be fine. I know he’s tough, but it was one of those plays, especially in practice, where everybody’s going hard. It’s just tough.

I don’t know [who got him]. It might have been me. It was just one of those plays where everybody’s going so hard, and it’s real physical out there. Hopefully he’ll be OK.

How Rose's Injury History Impacts Bulls

At this point, even casual NBA fans are familiar with Rose’s injury history. He tore his ACL in the 2012 playoffs, missed the entire next season and then suffered yet another season-ending knee injury in the 2013-14 campaign.    

He missed significant time in 2014-15 as well with a torn meniscus, although he was able to make it back to the lineup by the end of the regular season. In all, Rose only appeared in 100 regular-season contests the past four years for his hometown Bulls.

Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press put Rose's injuries into perspective:

Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds

And now this will have "orbital fracture surgery" soon on the list ... the Derrick Rose career injury chart. http://t.co/HxdBm2JJ0X

DeAntae Prince of Sports Illustrated described what it is like every time Rose is on the floor with those injuries hovering over him:

Rose has missed so many games over the past few seasons that each game is an odyssey. His style remains unchanged, but the expectations and reactions around him have. When Rose falls to the floor and rises with a slight limp, the crowd stops. If he takes a dive after being fouled on a drive, his teammates are quick to come to his aid. 

While it is easy to question Rose's ability to stay healthy given that long list of physical setbacks, many of his injuries occurred in freak plays that could theoretically happen to anyone. ESPN's Bomani Jones echoed that sentiment when discussing the recent fracture:

El Flaco @bomani_jones

the dude got elbowed in the face. faces aren’t made for that. https://t.co/pLUSYqiOIY

The Bulls are on the shortlist of Eastern Conference teams that could contend with the Cavaliers if the former MVP ever stayed healthy, but this is yet another setback in an injury-plagued career.

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