The Chicago Bulls are hoping that point guard Derrick Rose will recover from facial surgery in time for the start of the new NBA season.
The 26-year-old, who has been blighted by knee injuries during his career to date, was struck in the face by a stray elbow during his team’s first day of practice and has been forced to undergo surgery on his left eye.
A short statement from the Chicago franchise confirmed: “Derrick Rose’s procedure went as expected. At this time it is estimated he will be able to resume basketball activities in two weeks.”
The Bulls will be hoping to have Rose fit and available when the new campaign gets under way, as they face a tough first fixture, when they welcome in the Cleveland Cavaliers on October 27th.
The potential absence of Rose would add to the problems facing head coach Fred Hoiberg, who was drafted in after the Bulls parted with Tom Thibodeau following their play-off defeat in May.
Hoiberg made his name with Iowa State in college basketball, but the Bulls job is his first in the pressure cooker of the NBA and he will be charged with trying to improve on a play-off second round exit last season.
Having finished in third place in the Eastern Conference, Chicago saw off the Milwaukee Bucks 4-2 in the first round of the play-offs, before suffering a 4-2 series loss at the hands of the Cavaliers in the Conference semi-finals.
The Bulls can be backed at 15.00 to win the NBA Championship next season, as they chase a first success since 1997/98.