CHICAGO (AP) — Bulls star Derrick Rose will have surgery on his left eye after being elbowed in the face.
The 2011 NBA MVP sustained a left orbital fracture on the first day of practice, the team said Tuesday in a release. He is scheduled for surgery on Wednesday, and a timetable for his return will be determined after the operation.
It’s the latest in a long line of injuries for Rose, and the last thing the Bulls needed with a new coach in Fred Hoiberg.
Rose missed all of the 2012-13 season after tearing his left ACL during the first round of the 2012 playoffs, and played only 10 games two years ago after tearing the meniscus in his right knee. He also had a minor procedure on the right knee late last season.
The Bulls return mostly intact after winning 50 games and losing to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The one big change they made was on the sideline, with Hoiberg replacing the defensive-minded Tom Thibodeau.
Management is counting on a new coach to get the most out of an experienced roster. A big component in the team’s health – particularly Rose’s, although he is not the only injured Bulls player.
Mike Dunleavy Jr. had back surgery Friday and is expected to miss eight to 10 weeks. Taj Gibson is working his way back from left ankle surgery.
As for Rose, it still remains to be seen if he can consistently play at the level propelled the Chicago product from Rookie of the Year to All-Star to MVP in his first three seasons, before the injuries set in.
Rose showed some flashes last season, averaging 17.7 points, and was eyeing big things this year. He came into camp after a summer of training instead of rehab.
“I know I’m great,” Rose said Monday during the team’s media day. “There’s a lot of people that don’t know I’m great, that’s the thing. But it’s cool. I know I can hoop.”
Rose also raised some eyebrows Monday when he talked about becoming a free agent, even though he has two years left on his contract. He also said he’s focusing on staying in Chicago and taking care of his son.
“Even though we’re all right, we’re comfortable, when you talk about that x-amount of dollars, I think it raises everyone’s eyebrows,” Rose said. “So there’s nothing wrong with being over-prepared.”