Derrick Rose was back at practice today for the Chicago Bulls. Rose went through full-speed non-contact drills with a mask for the first time in his career. He said if he likes the mask, he may keep wearing it even after his fractured orbital bone has healed:
How long for mask? "I hate getting my face touched so if I’m feeling it and we’re playing good, you might see it for the rest of my career"— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) October 15, 2015
Rose did not offer a timetable for his return, but sounded optimistic about his prognosis. It's still uncertain whether he'll play in the opener against the Cavs on Oct. 27, but coach Fred Hoiberg said earlier this week that he's likely to miss all eight preseason games.
Rose made one thing clear: it's itching to get back on the court to play in Hoiberg's new offense:
"Every day, it's improving. It could be quick. Who knows? It's no timetable. It's whenever I can go play," Rose said after his first workout with his new mask. "I want to play. I'm anxious to play. I'm getting jittery just watching the freedom we have playing. ... If I'm willing to go and I know there's nothing in my way, I'll play (the opener.)"
Rose noted that he's played in fast offenses before both in high school at Simeon and in college at Memphis. Those seasons all ended either in the championship game or with Rose's team as the champion, so I guess we can expect the same from the Bulls this season.
One more thing: yeah, it was Taj Gibson who offered the elbow that broke his face. At least it wasn't Jimmy.