Derrick Rose is approaching full health just in time for the regular season. According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Bulls star will make his exhibition debut Friday night and is “on track” to play in his team’s season opener next Tuesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
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.
Rose, who had surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone late last month, said his compromised vision is “improving every day.” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg plans to bring his point guard off the bench to begin Friday’s preseason finale, then open the second half with him in the lineup alongside the new starting frontcourt of Nikola Mirotic and Pau Gasol.
The 2011 MVP took an elbow to the face in Chicago’s first training camp session of the season. He returned to the practice floor on October 16, and insisted compromised vision as a result of his swollen eye wouldn’t negatively influence his play – especially considering his comfort with a protective mask.
Regardless of Rose’s performance against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday, it won’t be indicative of his potential impact versus LeBron James and the Cavaliers come Tuesday. Recovery and acclimation from this injury, though, isn’t anything close to as arduous or daunting compared to that from numerous knee surgeries throughout his career.
Will Rose be in peak form next week? Unlikely. But that he’s playing at all will still be cause for minor celebration.