After signing a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers this past summer, Derrick Rose was expected to play an important role with the team.
Since newcomer Isaiah Thomas was out indefinitely with a hip issue, Rose assumed the starting point guard role immediately, averaging 14.3 points per game over seven contests early in the season.
However, predictably, he got hurt in the second game of the year.
Vaguely deemed an ankle injury, Rose missed the third, fourth, fifth and sixth games of the year before returning for the next five contests. But, then he experienced soreness in that same ankle and has been out ever since.
He also famously left the team for a couple of weeks, contemplating his future in the NBA before eventually returning to the club and apologizing to his teammates a couple of days ago.
Although he is back with the team, it was revealed on Friday that Rose’s injury is more serious than originally expected. According to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, the embattled former MVP has a bone spur in his left ankle and may need surgery to correct it if his rehab doesn’t work.
"I got to go through rehab with trying to get my ankle right," Rose said in his first public words with reporters since returning to the team. "I got a bone spur that I didn't tell anybody [about], but I was just trying to process all that myself."
"It's all about first getting the area to calm down and then strengthening your leg back up again," Rose noted. "So, afterwards, we may have to have a procedure. But who knows?”
According to McMenamin, Rose already had the bone spur in that ankle before joining the Cavaliers. The team found out about it only after he had imaging done on it following the second game of the season.
Despite the option of mid-season surgery being a possibility, McMenamin reported that the team believes he can play with the injury during the year while monitoring and dealing with any pain.
Some have questioned why Rose decided to come back and whether or not it was a financial decision. He immediately shot down that notion on Friday.
"Man, I don't care about -- not to be rude -- I don't care about no f---ing money," Rose said. "It's not about that. I've saved up enough money. It's not about that. If I wanted to leave, I would have left. Like I said, coming back here, starting with rehab, that's my first step. Keeping it simple and just giving my team support and then I'll see what I see off the court."
He also seems eager to get back on the court.
“I'll be able to hoop,” he explained. “That’s all I want to do: hoop and win. I don't care about all the stuff that comes with it. I'm appreciative, I'm grateful to be on this team and like I said, just trying to take it one day at a time. Every rehab is very crucial. So I'm trying to attack all my rehab."
As of now, he has no timetable to return, but when he does, Rose will likely assume a role on the team’s second unit since Isaiah Thomas is slated to make his team debut sometime in December.