The Bulls had a surprise visitor of sorts at their morning shootaround as they prepared for their fourth preseason game Tuesday morning.
As in their starting point guard, Derrick Rose, still recovering from orbital bone surgery after an injury he suffered on the first day of training camp. It’s the first time he’s been back to the Advocate Center since that day he was inadvertently nailed with an elbow by a teammate on Sept. 30.
“Derrick’s in the building,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “It was great to see him. We’ll get with him and watch some individual film after practice. He still isn’t able to do anything as far as court work. Hopefully, he’ll get clearance in the next couple days to at least get a sweat going and getting a little bit of running.”
Hoiberg hopes Rose will be on the bench tonight for the game, but isn’t sure whether he will.
“That's yet to be determined,” Hoiberg said. “We'll see how he's feeling. But it'll be good for him. I think it'll be good to get him back out there. If he's not the bench, he'll at least be in the building.”
Said forward Doug McDermott: “Since the first day of practice, I haven’t seen him at all. It’s good to see him back in the facility. He looks great and we’re looking forward to getting him back.”
Rose underwent surgery Oct. 1, and while the initial prognosis stated Rose should be available for opening night on Oct. 27, nobody will know how quickly his eye will heal. He has another checkup on Thursday and is suffering from blurred vision, a common side effect after a procedure of that nature.
Hoiberg isn’t sure if Rose will wear a mask when he returns, a commonly used protective measure for players in such instances, but it’s a good bet to say he will, at least early on.
“If he likes it, he may want to keep it on for protection,” Hoiberg said. “But as long as that bone is healed, I’m sure that will be a decision the doctors and trainers make.”
The longer Rose is away from the team, the harder it’ll be for him to pick up the increased nuances of Hoiberg’s offensive system. The staff has visited Rose with game film in tow when he wasn’t able to have his eye exposed to sunlight to keep him abreast, but there’s nothing like actual game action to be able to read and react to given situations.
“It will help to get him out here running. Different guys learn different ways,” Hoiberg said. “I think it’s very important once we get him back to show him and be able to run it first-hand to get the timing right. But he’s able to pick it up quick. It’s a lot of the same things we were doing, just adding on different wrinkles and different options. From Derrick’s standpoint, the biggest thing is just getting out of the house. He was getting such cabin fever. The opportunity for him to get back in here is very important.”