Derrick Rose has suffered toe, back, groin and ankle injuries this season, but the Chicago Bulls star has made a concerted effort throughout his career to never use ailments as an excuse.
However, Rose admitted after Saturday morning’s practice that his latest injury, a sprained left ankle, indeed impacted him Thursday night when he scored a career-low two points on 1-for-13 shooting and was benched by Tom Thibodeau for the final 5 minutes, 49 seconds in a 96-86 overtime win over the Miami Heat.
“When your ankle [is] hurting, you can’t move,” Rose told reporters. “You know how a sore ankle is: the bone is tender, you can’t get around like that. You’re tentative to run around. It was just one of those games.”
Not only did Rose have the worst scoring output of his career on Thursday, but the contest also marked the first time he failed to score in the first half, when he went 0-for-5 from the field. The point guard seemed to move around well, but he lacked the explosion that last season helped him become the youngest MVP in NBA history, going 0-for-3 in the paint.
Still, Rose is putting in the work to return to his usual form. He worked out at the Berto Center on Friday, the Bulls’ off day, and participated fully in Saturday’s practice.
Although Rose has missed 23 games overall, he believes his hurt ankle is making progress and that the other injuries are in the rearview mirror. He played just 25 minutes on Thursday but is expected to return soon to the 35.4 he averages per game.
“I’m feeling good,” he said. “Feel about the same, where I’m just getting better every day, improving, [and] trying to work on my health, stay positive and keep my spirits up.”
Rose will have a good opportunity to get back on track Sunday night when the Bulls face the Detroit Pistons (22-37), a team he averages almost 23 points against for his career.