CHARLOTTE "Story of my life," lamented Derrick Rose. "Just getting treatment, waking up at 9 every day. Turned myself into a morning person."
Notorious for being a late riser, Rose has had to suck it up this season in order to get therapy on his litany of injuries. The 23-year-old has missed five games each due to turf toe and lower back spasms, another 12 because of a strained right groin, one because of a sprained right ankle and will miss his second consecutive contest with a sore right foot, his 25th of the condensed campaign, Wednesday night.
From speculation that his body is breaking down early in his young career to whispers that hes soft not from anyone whos around him on a regular basis, but observers still convinced the Bulls failure to get past Miami in the Eastern Conference Finals last spring meant the All-Star point guard was undeserving of regular-season MVP honors no one seems to chalk up his ailments to, as his coach, Tom Thibodeau would say, misfortune.
Whatever the negative reasoning for his injury-plagued season, Rose doesnt want to hear any of it and instead of buying into the sky-is-falling theories most observers have with the postseason approaching and his body still not 100 percent healthy, he remains defiant that things will sort themselves out.
Im not thinking that way. I think if you put things into the universe, they come true. Im just trying to stay focused, staying happy, staying positive, keeping my spirits up and hopefully Ill be healthy in the playoffs. I rested almost a whole year with injuries. Definitely hurting me, not being able to play right now, but my health is a concern right now, said Rose, who attributes his injuries to the condensed schedule, something thats afflicted numerous role players and his superstar peers alike, such as Dwight Howard, Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade. Think about it: Thats the only that changed. The way I work out is usually the same, even though I ran more than I did in the past. I really dont know what to blame it on. Its just like a freak accident, freak injuries. It just happened.
Its been hard a little bit. I cant lie. Missing all these games, just playing against great competition. Just playing the game, period. Being out there with my teammates, practicing with my teammates. Trying not to distance myself from them by me not playing. Just staying around. Trying to stay positive, talking to them. Its definitely been hard, but theyve been doing a great job of making me feel like Im part of the team. Talking to me, calling me, eating with one another. Just making me feel good and I think thats raising my spirits up a little bit, too, continued the reigning league MVP, who acknowledged that hes been more short-tempered than usual this campaign he bristled at the flagrant foul delivered by Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva, which caused a cut over the bridge of his nose, in the Bulls overtime win Sunday at Detroit and didnt dissuade the notion that frustration from his long absences have fueled his increasingly short fuse. Probably so. Its hard, man. For someone to not miss more than what, seven, 10 games in a year, to miss 20-something, 30-something games. It hurts, man. Especially when something that you love the most and one of the things that you love most, playing this game, is taken away from you because of health-wise and it hurts a little bit, but I started thinking about the things that Im grateful for and Im still blessed.
But Rose, as disappointed as hes been to not be battling alongside his close-knit squad, doesnt feel any resentment from his supporting cast and reiterated that hell make a return to the court sooner than later, which would put the Bulls with their league-best record and relative success without the superstar, not to mention another season to mature, further jell and the addition of an experienced backcourt scorer in Rip Hamilton, whos finally healthy and showing flashes of why his acquisition was so well-regarded back in December in position to be favorites to come out of the East.
I wouldnt say that. They know we have a couple games to close out the season. Of course I would want to come back as soon as possible just to get my rhythm going, but playoffs are the playoffs and my biggest thing is my health right now, and just getting me healthy, I should be able to iron out the rest, he stated. I would want to play as soon as possible. I would say tonight, tomorrow. It really doesnt matter. I just want to get out there, man. I miss the game and hopefully youll see me out there soon.