When Derrick Rose feels healthy in body and mind, he’s actually quite close to the pre-injury him. The problem is that it doesn’t take too long for him to get injured again or think that he’s about to tear something. The Bulls are handing him like a fragile piece of expensive china, hence the handle with care meme.
Since Derrick Rose went down in the 2012 playoffs, it’s been a nightmare for him and the Bulls in terms of keeping him healthy. He actually had plenty of issues during the 2011-2012 season, missing 27 of the 66 games after missing a total of five games in his first three NBA seasons. He missed the entire 2012-2013 season and played only 10 games in 2013-2014, his “comeback” year, before tearing his meniscus and going down for the rest of the campaign.
This season? His hamstring and ankles have been bothering him. Hamstring has kept him out four nights in a row. Overall, he has played in just seven games this season, including his 10-minute stint against the Nuggets before feeling a tweak in his hamstring. The Bulls pulled him out and left him out of the game after the first sign of even slight pain. The Bulls are 4-4 when Rose doesn’t play, and are 9-6 overall.
It’s really getting to a weird point. Is Rose actually too injured to play, or are they just being too cautious with him? Is it him that’s pushing for the caution or is it Thibodeau or even a prime directive from higher up that’s keeping him from playing more than 32 minutes? If the current state of affairs doesn’t change, we’ll never know if Rose is capable of going on a full run of games. Whether it’s his mind, his team or his body, there are too many things in the way of allowing him to be “fully” back.