About a month ago, Derrick Rose took a leave of absence from the Cavaliers to contemplate his future in the NBA. At the time, there were rumors swirling around about how he was considering retiring from the league as a result of the slew of injuries he has been forced to deal with throughout the course of his career.

Since then, Rose has returned to the Cavaliers, but he hasn’t offered up a whole lot of clarity as far as why he chose to leave the team in the first place. That changed this week, though, when Rose sat down for a lengthy interview with The Undefeated about his decision to step away from basketball for a bit.

During the interview, Rose assured NBA fans that he is "not depressed," which was one of the reasons some people initially thought he decided to distance himself from the Cavaliers. He also promised that he will be back on the court at some point this season, even though he still can’t say when that will be. And Rose explained why he wants to continue playing in the NBA for the foreseeable future. As it turns out, it’s the injuries he’s sustained—and maybe more importantly, the effort he’s put into each and every rehab stint—that continue to motivate him.

"People forget that my first injury was my ACL. A lot of guys would have walked away after that," he said. "I already had my contract and all that taken care of, so a lot of guys would have walked away after that. I’ve had five surgeries, and I had an eye [socket] fracture. I’m too far in to just walk away."

Rose also told The Undefeated that, despite all the heartbreak he’s suffered in the NBA due to his injuries, he still loves playing basketball today just as much as he did when he first entered the league.