Derrick Rose is not afraid to get his Richard Hamilton on.
As the Chicago Bulls point guard continues working his way back from yet another injury, this one a left orbital fracture, he has started wearing a protective mask. And while said mask may be intended to be worn only for a short time, until he is fully healed, the former MVP won’t rule out wearing it forever, presumably as a preventive measure, per K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune (h/t Blog A Bull):
How long for mask? "I hate getting my face touched so if I’m feeling it and we’re playing good, you might see it for the rest of my career"
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) October 15, 2015
Although Derrick Rose may have been joking, this isn’t exactly a bad idea. He’s been an injury magnet over the last three years, missing 212 of a possible 312 regular-season tilts. Precautionary measures, even ones that might seem unnecessary, are not to be laughed at.
This isn’t even a case of Rose being too fragile. Yeah, he’s injury prone. But almost all of his setbacks occur independent of one another. He isn’t aggravating the same old injury over and over again. He’s had problems with both legs, and this orbital snafu was, for lack of better phrasing, a freak accident.
Of course, short of living in an impenetrable bubble, Derrick Rose will never be fully inoculated against any type of injury. And living in a bubble would probably preclude Rose from playing basketball—or, you know, going to the bathroom.
If you’re looking to take away something profound from this mask business, though, focus on Rose’s self-awareness. He’ll never be the player he was in 2010-11, when he won the NBA’s MVP award, but now more than ever he appears to understand there may be more to recovering from injury after injury than simply tackling them as they come.