CHICAGO — Derrick Rose will play in the Bulls‘ season opener against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night, though he admitted to still having blurred vision as he continues to recover from a left orbital fracture.
“A little bit when I look certain places,” Rose said after Monday’s practice. “But if I concentrate a little bit harder or focus on it a little bit harder, I can see one thing.”
Rose made his season debut in Friday’s preseason finale, scoring eight points in 10 minutes in a victory over the Dallas Mavericks. It appears the swelling around Rose’s left eye has mostly subsided.
“You can tell, right?” Rose said. “It’s still blurry a little bit, but every day it’s improving, so it’s a slow process.”
It is still unclear how many minutes Rose will play Tuesday. Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said Rose will be evaluated throughout the game as far as how he’s feeling.
“Derrick’s going to go,” Hoiberg said. “We’ll start Derrick [on Tuesday], and we’ll see on minutes. He doesn’t have any restrictions, per se, but we’ll be a little bit careful just for the fact that he hasn’t had a lot of practice time.”
The good news for Rose is that he sounds as if he’s found a comfort zone playing in the mask that he has to wear to protect his face. Rose suffered the fractured orbital bone on Sept. 29 and had surgery the following day.
“When I’m playing, I’m so focused on the game that you really don’t know that you have it on until it’s like a timeout or something like that you got to wipe it off,” Rose said of his mask. “But other than that, I don’t care [about it].”