Rose Might Miss (Gulp!) 12 Months

No one wants Derrick Rose to rush back. Anyone who cares has heard about the bumpy road to recovery from constructive surgery on a torn anterior cruciate knee ligament. Everyone in the room at Rush University Medical Center Tuesday could sense a feel-good, upbeat vibe put out by the Chicago Bulls and their team physician, Brian Cole, who performed the surgery on Saturday.

The clock on Rose’s return as the Bulls’ franchise player and Chicago’s favorite athlete officially has begun to tick. Fans might even want to synchronize their watches if they have a countdown mode – and they can set it that high.

Time till Rose’s Return: 8,688 hours. That’s knocking off 72 from the moment Cole stitched up Rose’s left knee.

And that is 362 days or just shy of 12 months, the cautious end of Rose’s projected recovery range as voiced by Cole Tuesday. Last we checked here at Hang Time HQ, 12 months is just about equivalent to … (gulp) … One. Year.

“Sometimes shorter, sometimes longer,” Cole told a group of Chicago media. “It could take him more than a year to be back to pre-surgery level of performance.”

And this: “It’s impossible to predict tomorrow. Statistically, he should be that player and then some. That doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed.”

Smile. Frown. Smile. Frown. The way Cole balanced each encouraging statement with something more cautionary, you’d expect half of the NBA fans in the Windy City to tear a facial ligament.

After Rose suffered the devastating injury on April 28 in the playoff opener against Philadelphia, the early prognosis was for a layoff lasting six to nine months. Now it’s eight to 12, and even if Rose shaves some time off that sentence for good rehab behavior, that’s a big number for people who care about him and his team to absorb.

Cole said that, in a best-case scenario, the 2011 NBA MVP might be able to return in January or February. That would change everything and, if all went well, permanently turn those frowns upside down.

But the doctor also said: “He could miss the entire season.”

Not to worry, a member of Rose’s family told the Chicago Tribune over the weekend. Keep in mind, of course, that Reggie Rose doesn’t even play a doctor on TV:

“He’s not sitting out the entire (2012-2013) year,” Reggie said. “We’re just going to bring him back slowly. I think the biggest thing to do is not put a time limit on it, just when he feels comfortable. When he comes back, he’s got to learn how to trust his body. I tore my ACL in college also. So it’s him learning how to trust his body.”

Still, if Reggie’s little brother does play his next game for the Bulls at the start of the 2013-14 season, so much around him will have changed. Richard Hamilton – the guy signed in December to lighten Rose’s scoring load — might be gone, the Bulls declining to pick up the third year of his contract for a wing player approaching his 36th birthday.

Forward Carlos Boozer will be nearing 32, what little lift that’s left in his game nearly gone. Teammates such as Taj Gibson, Omer Asik, Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer and C.J. Watson might be elsewhere due to business decisions, theirs or the clubs’. Someone will have had to main the point guard spot in 2012-13, so that guy will either be a stop-gap solution or someone who might bristle at a new backup role.

Coach Tom Thibodeau probably won’t have led his team to the NBA’s best regular season record for a third straight season and – let’s be honest – there’s no assurance Chicago would even qualify for the playoffs next spring. By April 28, 2013, any notions of a storybook spring return by the point guard might be moot. Thus the 2013-14 possibility.

Bravo to the Bulls, of course, for laying out the reality of Rose’s rehab and timeline, and for not blinking at the difficult time ahead. “Obviously, short-term, we’re going to take a hit,” general manager Gar Forman said. “Our thinking long-term won’t change at all.”

In other words, Rose will be the Bulls’ cornerstone player whenever he is able to play again, and particularly play again at or near his remarkable pre-injury level. That’s to be lauded, at whatever percentage of his former bad self Rose returns. The fans will keep showing up to United Center – they endured the Tim Floyd era, so they can do this time standing on their heads.

But change happens, time marches on (or limps along) and, by the time Rose does come back, there’s no telling whether the Bulls will be able to get the band back together again.


  1. UdontKnow says:

    Not a Bulls fan but a fan of B-ball – Just know that D. Rose is good for the NBA and this news is painful… But in no manners do I seriously thinks its over for Rose… I believe in comebacks, nothing sweeter too, a script not even Hollywood could write, and when that time comes I’ll be right there “booing Rose” cuz he’ll probably be playing against my Lakers in the 2014 finals.. (just being super positive peeps). My prayers D. Rose to a “cuz he’s f-ast” and full recovery.

  2. oh man says:

    I’m a huge heat fan, but also a big fan of the game of basketball….this is really bad, I hate the bulls, but have respect for them and the way they play and all, and I admit, rose is a beast, I just fear this is gonna change his way of play for the rest of his career, I pray for a full recovery to this great player and hope to see a Heat vs Bulls series again with my team (I’m starting to lose hope on this season) a much better team next year and the Bulls (everyone healthy and a SG with great potential) also better, making it an epic 7 game series…..a very sad story for rose and chicago, and basketball as a whole

  3. Robert says:

    Everybody is saying he will recover fully and his knee will be stronger blah blah…..Listen, they say the brain is connected to the knee bone….and they say it for a reason… Let’s be real here. D Rose will never be the same dominant player. Secondly, this is nothing like B Roy. B Roy had a knee history dating back to college. He had a worn away meniscus and his knee was bone on bone. It wasn’t a blowout of the ACL. Two totally different injuries.

  4. TomekiaAllen says:

    To the best point guard that we have in this league I would like to say God does things for a reason we might not understand but at the end of the day no matter what he will get the Glory. Mr.Rose just keep the faith. Beside you will be a father soon. Take your time get well. I know you will do everyrhing to get back playing but remember basketball is not going anywhere. Enjoy your new baby! Trust God. Derrick best wishes to you and your family. God is love.

  5. TomekiaAllen says:

    Derrick Rose will be back at a strong level! He just needs to take his time. God is Good! I believe the Bulls will still make the playoff they will be okay. Get well Derrick. I hope Loul Deng make the right choice. Please get rid of Carlos Booze.

  6. Jason says:

    I had the same injury and fully recovered in 8 months in fact the doctors tested my leg strength against my opposite leg and it was stronger after the surgery then before hes young he should be fine

  7. jan_279 says:

    If Rose is gonna continue to rely too much on his athleticism, I think he’s gonna end up like Vince Carter, T-Mac and Grant Hill. I know that fast don’t lie, but it doesn’t hurt taking it slowly. Get well soon, D-Rose.

  8. Sayee says:

    sounds like the GIlbert Arenas injury of 2007..Arenas at his peak was very similar to Rose – extreme speed,high volume shooting,explosiveness while driving to the rim – except for playing D 😉

  9. Casual Observer says:

    Rose’s offense relies so much on his foot speed and quick change of direction that it would be difficult for him to dominate consistently like he did this season for at least two to three years after coming back from injury. Even if he comes back 100 percent, he’d have so little time to adapt and develop a finesse game due to the simple fact that he’s already an indispensable piece to this Bulls team whose offense runs through him. Normally we as fans like to see our favourite athlete working hard for the W, but in this case I’d venture to say that Rose is too eager to impose and not giving enough room to let the game come to him. The way he attacks the rim looks more like he’s trying to score a touchdown than a bakset. That kind of explosiveness takes a toll on your body, and yes, your knees. Rose should take his time and not rush things. And instead of going full throttle every single game, he should modulate his energy and tactics in accordance with his opponents. Get well soon.

  10. cp3 da best pg says:

    i want him to heal soon especially so cp3 can legitimately show to the world why he is and always has been the best pg in the lg since 07 cause if not it’ll just have this t-mac vs kobe type of aura

    • rose fan says:

      shut up its pretty obvios the cp3 isnt as good as rose

    • chicitybulls says:

      Remind me who was going to be the starting pg on the Olympic team? Sure wasn’t going to be CP (flop) 3. And that decision is made by basketball HOFers. Not people on a message board.

  11. Tawny says:


  12. Steve Blake says:

    The reason he gets injured soo much is because he tries to go and school every player in the NBA by going WAY to hard. I bet if he didn’t try so hard and do his little trick shot layups all the time, he wouldn’t get hurt. CALM DOWN DERRICK! 🙂

  13. W/E says:

    thats really bad news,rose gunna miss so much NBA time i expect him to be very rusty when he comes back and be below the level he was before the injury, he REALLY has to improve his jumpshoot cause he is a horrible shooter, he is gunna be a very average player if he stops doing his crazy suicuidal penetration moves which is the most probable thing he will do to avoid getting hurt so often.

  14. cherrypopper says:


  15. tony says:

    trade him for tyreke

  16. ThornsOfRose says:

    get well soon . i hope he wont rush his body because it dangerous . just ask brandon roy .

  17. jj says:

    im not a chicago fan but i feel really sorry for him and for what the game is missing with him out of business. get well soon rose!

  18. NBAfan says:

    This is a very very sad day for basketball…to rub salt into the wounds further, he got injured in a game that they already had in the wraps and he got injured all on his own.

    Rose, I wish for your full recovery and hope you come back with most of your skills and athleticism intact.

  19. bulls says:

    rose will be back soon and for sure he will as deadly as he can be! get well soon rose.

    • ariel says:

      being a chicago fan, it is tough to hear however if we can get any quality rose in a year it is worth the wait, he will only be 25 when he recovers, so we have some time, take it slow, just dont want his situation to end in injury.

  20. jonski22 says:

    Brandon Roy II….hope not!

  21. MagoHaydz says:

    we’ll be lucky to make the playoffs without Rose. I just hope they dont blow the team up too much. Next season is pretty much a write-off already, so might as well just play CJ and Lucas at the point, give them some very valuable experience so when Rose does come back they will be more confident in their role as backup. Also, it could be a good way to score a decent draft pick in the lottery to add to the team so when Rose comes back we have essentially the same team and hopefully a scoring SG to backup/replace Rip.