Rose missed the entire 2012-13 season and had surgery last May after being injured in the first round of last season's playoffs.
"I'm not a selfish guy at all, but having this injury and going through what I had to go through and being smart, it's something that I had to be selfish with. I couldn't worry about anyone else but myself and my health," Rose said to Bulls TV.
Rose began practicing in 5-on-5 drills in February, but was never comfortable with returning to the floor. The Bulls beat the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of the playoffs before losing in five games to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
"When you're in practice, of course it's not like gamelike speed, unless it's like training camp," Rose said. "Gamelike experience is totally different when you have strategy, this and that, double teams. When I play, I get double-teamed a lot. We play the same defense [in practice] we play in the game, so there wasn't any double-teams. So I was able to roam around freely. And in a game ... I wasn't able to take on that double-team yet.