Derrick Rose wanted to play for at least a few minutes in the Bulls’ preseason finale on Friday night, and new coach Fred Hoiberg was on the same page. There was just one little problem — Rose was still suffering from vision problems related to the broken orbital bone around his eye, an injury he suffered that required surgery. Rose couldn’t play with one eye shut.
Apparently those have clear vision because he will play Friday night, reports K.C. Johnson at the Chicago Tribune.
Derrick Rose indeed will make his preseason debut Friday when the Bulls play host to the Mavericks in a neutral site home exhibition, their last.
More importantly, both Rose and coach Fred Hoiberg said if Rose’s left eye reacts favorably to game conditions, he’s on track to play in Tuesday’s regular-season opener against the Cavaliers.
“It opens it up even more,” Rose said of the possibility of playing in the opener. “Every day my eye is improving. We’ll see how tonight goes. Everything I need to work on, this gives me a couple days to really work on it so I’m prepared for Tuesday.”
Don’t expect a lot of mask-wearing Rose Friday, likely two or three five-minute stretches at most. He’s not going to play a ton in the opener Tuesday against Cleveland either, expect a lot of Kirk Hinrich and Aaron Brooks (matched up against Matthew Dellavedova and Mo Williams, the Cavaliers are without Kyrie Irving to start the season).
It may be a slow start, but this is good for the Bulls, a team with a lot of talent and a lot of questions. Getting Rose and Jimmy Butler on the same page and flowing. They need to figure out the frontcourt rotation that works best — Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic appear destined to be the starters, with Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson coming off the bench, but that will be mixed and matched a lot during the season.
Fred Hoiberg has a full season to keep everyone healthy and figure out how the puzzle pieces fit together.