The protective mask Derrick Rose wore in Tuesday night's season opener did its job -- it protected the point guard's face as he continues to recover from a broken orbital bone suffered Sept. 29 in the Bulls' first practice of camp.
But one thing it can't help with is Rose's vision, which, according to the 2011 MVP, is still blurred and at times leaves him seeing double.
Like Tuesday night.
Speaking with the media after Chicago's 97-95 opening-night win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Windy City, Rose said he saw double, had blurred vision and could see out of only one eye.
"I wish it was a blink, but it's all the time," Rose told the media after scoring 18 points in 32 minutes. "Like right now, I see two of you."
"When I'm out there playing, I'm only using one of my eyes," he continued. "I close my left eye whenever I'm out there. So I just got used to it from practice."
When asked how he could have played so well despite the vision issues and with limited practice time in the preseason, he offered up the kind of confident answer Bulls fans have been hoping to hear since the 27-year-old tore his ACL in the first game of the 2012 postseason to begin an agonizing years-long battle with injuries.
'I'm a pro. Not to be cocky or anything, but seriously, I've been playing this game for a long time," he said, "While I'm out there, I'm good enough to still be able to do positive things and help my teammates win. And that's all I'm trying to do."
For his part, new Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg had some fun with Rose's vision issues, according to ESPN.
"I think he sees three baskets right now," Hoiberg said. "I told him, 'Aim for the middle one.' That's part of it right now -- the depth perception. It's probably still a little bit off. He's still out there working on [3s], shooting them, but we want him to be aggressive getting to the basket and making plays for his teammates."