Derrick Rose played through his hyperextended left elbow for two games, being unable to shoot for the better part of them until he decided that giving it a rest would be the best choice, as he was sorely missed in the Bulls’ 94-90 loss to the Detroit Pistons Saturday night.
Rose’s MRI revealed swelling in his bursa sac, and if that doesn’t sound uncomfortable enough, the point guard revealed there’s a shooting pain down his left arm whenever the elbow gets bumped. It affects his dribbling and playing, let alone his ability as a left-handed driver and shooting, as his left hand is his guide hand.
“A little bit of swelling but it’s more tender than swelling,” Rose said before the game. “I can’t dribble the ball or every time I get hit, the vibration of getting hit aggravates the spot.”
Initially hurting it on a drive against the Atlanta Hawks last week—a drive Rose reminds everyone that he didn’t get a call on—he used his elbow to naturally shield his fall, thus causing the injury.
After the first half of the Rockets game Thursday, against dogged competitor but friend Patrick Beverley, everyone decided it would be best to sit him for the remainder of the game.
“It’s hard but I just tried,” Rose said. “I think I played the whole Indiana game with one hand then Houston game, thank God Pat didn’t try to pressure me the entire game. I think he knew and he eased back a little bit.”
“It’s just the reality, I have to deal with an injury. I fell on the floor, gonna fall here and there, gonna have injuries. Just gonna try to get through it and have to get on the floor.”
With six games remaining and the Bulls falling further away from playoff contention, Rose said he was doing everything he could to return in enough time to help—although given how he played Thursday, it’s unrealistic to expect him to play Sunday in Milwaukee.
“Every day it’s getting better. Able to push off a little bit more. As far as right now it’s tender,” Rose said. “If it feels different. I’ve been getting treatment all day, from in the morning till now. I’ll see how that goes and see how tomorrow goes.”
[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]
Rose has been arguably the Bulls’ best player since the All-Star break, and his injury adds to the lot considering the ailments of Jimmy Butler, Pau Gasol and Taj Gibson, but missing such a crucial game hurts like all the others.
“Not only this game but every game this year,” Rose said. “Trying to play in consistent games. I’m hurt, but I gotta be smart, out there playing with one hand.”
And if that comment sends shivers down the spine of Bulls’ fans, consider the shiver that goes down Rose’s arm when he gets whacked.
“If I was to get hit, yes, it would go down to my fingers,” Rose said. “Other than that, it’s just that.”