After playing only a combined 10 games over the last two seasons, Rose has missed four of the Bulls' first eight games this season due to ankle injuries. After spraining both of his ankles during an Oct. 31 game against the Cavaliers, the point guard re-aggravated them last week against the Bucks.
He returned for Chicago's game against the Pistons on Monday, scoring a game-high 24 points and adding seven assists.
"I know a lot of people get mad when they see me sit out or whatever, but I think a lot of people don't understand that when I sit out it's not because of this year. I'm thinking about long term. I'm thinking about after I'm done with basketball," said Rose.
"Having graduations to go to, having meetings to go to, I don't want to be in my meetings all sore or be at my son's graduation all sore just because of something I did in the past. (I'm) just learning and being smart."
Through four games in 2014-15, Rose is averaging 17.5 points and 5.8 assists. A former No. 1 draft pick, the 26-year-old has not played at least half a season since his MVP year in 2010-11.
The Bulls (6-2) play the Raptors (6-1) in Toronto on Thursday.
- Molly Geary