Derrick Rose eager for healthy season and first game in nine months – The Denver Post


Derrick Rose doesn’t need recovery guidelines. Not anymore.

After so many years and so many injuries, the point guard listens to his body and has a reluctant Knicks staff buying into his philosophy of “Trust me, bro.”

“And they’re like, ‘Woah, what the hell you mean just trust you? We can’t just throw you out there,’” Rose said. “But when I go out, they see and say, ‘He knows what he’s doing.’ I’ve been injured so much.”

Rose is scheduled to appear in his first game in over nine months on Tuesday, the same day he turns 34 years old. His play off the bench is among the most notable storylines of the preseason opener against the Pistons, even if Rose’s minutes are limited.

The point guard hopes to spin it forward to a healthy season. He hasn’t played more than 66 games since his MVP campaign in 2010-11.

“I feel like I’m gonna play in a lot of games — I mean, I know I’m gonna play in a lot of games this year,” Rose said. “And yeah, I’m just thirsting to go out there and play. I feel lighter. I’m moving a lot better. I’m not worried about my shot. My shot looks great. I’m just ready to go out there and just help by any means.”

Rose missed the final 56 games of last season following ankle surgery, which became a bigger issue after an infection in the incision area filled his leg with pus.

Since Rose long ago shunned pick-up games in the offseason, the Knicks’ standard recovery progression of 1-on-0 to 1-on-1 to 2-on-2, etc., didn’t apply.

“I like just jumping back into the game,” Rose said. “The staff is kind of nervous when they’re not there that the first time I was here or the second time I was here, because it’s kind of unusual. But I feel like I’m a gamer, like I’ll figure it out. It’s not like I’m running 100 miles an hour like I used to. I kind of tailored my game to what it is now. I’m just trying to keep people off my body, and I’m shooting a lot.”

Indeed, Rose’s offense now includes more deliberation and outside shooting. Over one-third of his shot attempts last season were from beyond the arc. He averaged just 1.2 free throws per game — a career low — suggesting Rose wasn’t attacking the rim with the same frequency.

Still, a bone spur in his ankle prompted Rose to undergo the seventh surgery of his NBA career. It was a lingering issue that Rose said is now corrected.

“It’s always gonna be a challenge, bro and that’s what I was just talking to my oldest brother about. There’s always gonna be a challenge. We called it a problem. Either it’s gonna be small or big. It’s how you deal with it,” Rose said. “And I would put that in the category of small. My surgery is small. The worst I went through was getting the pus out a few times. Other than that, I haven’t had any problems. I’m not dealing with any spurs anymore in my ankle. So, I feel very healthy.”

Tom Thibodeau challenged Rose to get leaner in the offseason and the point guard responded by dropping to his rookie weight. It’s part of a team edict to play faster, but extra beneficial to Rose because of his age and health history.

“When you get to where he is in his career, the important thing is to be light and lean,” Thibodeau said. “He made a serious commitment to it right from the end of last season, put a lot of time in this summer and hopefully it gives him his best chance at being healthy. We know if he’s healthy he’s a terrific player and he’s a big plus for the team.”


Quentin Grimes will miss the preseason opener because of a sore foot that has kept him out of the majority of training camp.

Grimes hasn’t practiced fully in a week and was spotted wearing a walking boot on Wednesday. Still, the Knicks aren’t concerned and have labeled Grimes’ absence as more precautionary.

“He’s doing a little more each day. We feel we don’t want to rush right now,” Thibodeau said. “Do what you can and then progress step by step, make sure we’re good.”


The Knicks traded three players to the Pistons in the summer but it’s possible none will play Tuesday at the Garden.

Kemba Walker never made it to training camp in Detroit because the sides are negotiating a buyout. Alec Burks still hasn’t practiced since undergoing offseason foot surgery. He suffered the injury during the 2020-21 season but waited until April for surgery. Nerlens Noel has been limited in practice due to plantar fasciitis and it’s unclear if he’ll be available at MSG.

All three players were traded from the Knicks to the Pistons on draft night to clear cap space for Jalen Brunson.



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