Derrick Rose hasn’t been injury-free for an entire season since he won the NBA MVP award in 2011, and that remains the case this year. Just as the Chicago Bulls begin training camp, the All-Star point guard will be forced to undergo surgery.
Rose suffered a left orbital fracture on Tuesday when he was hit in the face with an elbow at practice. Rose needs a procedure to repair the injury, and it’s unknown when he’ll be able to return to the court.
Chicago might be thankful that Rose’s latest injury is not to one of his knees, which is what has kept Rose sidelined for the better part of four seasons. There is a chance that Rose can be ready for the regular-season opener on Oct. 27, and a timetable won’t be determined until after the surgery. The Bulls host the Cleveland Cavaliers in their first game in what could be a preview of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Several current NBA stars have suffered similar injuries, missing less time than is remaining between when Rose got hurt and the start of the 2015 season. When Jason Terry and Joe Johnson had surgery to repair their orbital fractures, they missed just five and six games, respectively. Hall of Famer Reggie Miller returned to the court 22 days after he suffered the same injury in 1996.
— Reggie Miller (@ReggieMillerTNT) September 29, 2015
But Rose’s eye injury may be the least of his worries. He’s currently facing a lawsuit from a woman who claims she was sexually assaulted by him in Aug. 2013. The woman alleges Rose and two other men assaulted her one night in Los Angeles, but the Bulls’ star has maintained his innocence.
"The plaintiff became upset a few weeks or months later because she felt she should be reimbursed for one of the sex toys she purchased and used during the day and night in question," Rose attorney Mark Bute stated in court documents, asking the lawsuit to be dismissed.
Rose has stated that the lawsuit won’t affect his preparation for the upcoming season, as the Bulls look to improve on their second-round exit in last year’s playoffs. He made headlines in his first meeting with the media when discussing his potential free agency in 2017.
Playing in 51 games last year, Rose spent more time on the court than he had since the 2010-2011 season. He averaged 17.7 points, 4.9 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game.