Bulls’ Silver Lining? Rose’s Knee Injury Could Have Been Much Worse

VIDEO: Derrick Rose faces another potentially long road back from a severe knee injury

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — There is a silver lining in an otherwise doomsday scenario for Derrick Rose, the Chicago Bulls and their die-hard fans: It could have been worse!

It seems preposterous to frame Rose’s latest injury setback in that context. But on the eve and morning of his surgery, which has to be performed before there can any long-term prognosis for his recovery time, Rose’s teammates, the organization and especially the fans need something to positive to cling to.

Sure, it’s flimsy. But with the surgery happening sometime today in Chicago and no one sure what the aftermath of the procedure will bring, positive thoughts are needed.

And it’s true, it could have been worse. He could have suffered another torn ACL as opposed to the torn medial meniscus ligament in his right knee that was torn in Friday’s loss to Portland. All indications are that the recovery from this current injury requires less time than the entire 2012-13 season Rose had to miss while recovering from a torn left ACL.

The other, and perhaps more important, silver lining for the Bulls is that coach Tom Thibodeau, center Joakim Noah, and forwards Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng and the rest of the crew know what it’s like to work with Rose in street clothes. It doesn’t translate into a championship, as we saw last season. But they won’t be folding up their uniforms and giving up on their season just because Rose could be done.

The options for Rose, (thoroughly presented by our very own Steve Aschburner over the weekend) in terms of the surgical choices, have already been laid out.

Noted sports trainer Tim Grover, who has worked with Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and others, provided a glimpse of the different approaches on Twitter shortly after the results of Rose’s MRI exam were released by the Bulls Saturday afternoon:

Repair the meniscus and you rehab it and the recovery time is anywhere from four to six months, which all but ends yet another season for Rose. If the meniscus cannot be repaired and has to be removed, the rehab and recovery process is sped up considerably. But the long-term outlook doesn’t look good, as arthritis and other issues could arise later because of the removal of the cartilage that serves as the cushion in the knee.

For a player Rose’s age, even after two severe knee injuries, the longevity of his career has to be of the utmost importance of all involved. Doesn’t it?

It makes little sense at this point to compare Rose’s situation to those of guys like Metta World Peace, who came back 12 days after surgery to repair a torn meniscus last season, or even Russell Westbrook, who was not coming back from a torn ACL in his other knee when he returned this season from surgery to repair his torn meniscus.

Rose is dealing with something that physically and psychologically only he can struggle to comprehend. He already dealt with a season full of second-guessing when he decided to use the entire 2012-13 season to recover from his ACL injury, a decision I supported wholeheartedly then and in hindsight. He’s saddled with the added pressure of being the hometown hero, the rising star who was supposed to lift the Bulls back to championship heights for the first time since the Jordan years.

All of that is in jeopardy now, of course, since we don’t know what type of player Rose will be in the wake of this second knee surgery.

But at least there is a chance he comes back and plays at a level commensurate with his talent and potential. Had this latest injury been more severe … well, thank goodness for silver linings.

*** Stay tuned to NBA.com and NBA TV for updates on Rose today ***


  1. let Drose rest says:

    run tank commander and hope the bulls finish in the bottom 5 teams. If they do that and end up getting one of the top picks, they could get Chicago’s own Jabari Parker in the draft and have two Chicago guys as #1 and #2 option next year. With butler at 3, taj and noah at 4/5. Then use Deng/boozer money to build the bench.

    IF I was the GM this is exactly what I would do! getting Chicago’s own Jabari Parker in the draft by tanking! I would trade Boozer for sure and consider trading Deng for Pau Gasol and his expiring contract! or trade Deng for manimal and nate robinson!

    I know tanking is very tough to do in the east this year but it is still possible.

  2. I really liked Derrick Rose. I feel sorry for him and the organization. He should be more careful and not so incredibly aggressive. You can say that he is a Russel Westbrook in a more fragile body or Russel is a Derrick Rose in a sturdier body.

  3. rj says:

    We want AI !!!!!!!!

  4. rj says:

    put back Allen Iverson again in replacement of Rose for the meantime. AI will give big help for the Bulls in their season campaign

  5. cp10 says:

    Isn’t it the other way around – meniscus tears are worse than ACL tears? I certainly could be wrong as I’m not a medical professional, but I learned online that ACLs can be replaced but meniscus tears cannot.

  6. slider821 says:

    Let’s say bulls shut Rose down for the season, which is how it’s looking. The way I see it, this doesn’t change the Bulls future at all. They are still going to trade Deng before the end of the season and they are going to ride out Boozers contract until he’s gone at the end of the season.

    This injury could actually help them in the long run. They should trade Deng away ASAP for expiring contracts/cheap prospects. Let boozer run tank commander and hope the bulls finish in the bottom 5 teams. If they do that and end up getting one of the top picks, they could get Chicago’s own Jabari Parker in the draft and have two Chicago guys as #1 and #2 option next year. With butler at 3, taj and noah at 4/5. Then use Deng/boozer money to build the bench.

  7. Nick g says:

    To expect rose to be an MVP caliber player again is silly the kid had surgery on both knees has anyone ever had two bad knee surgerys and won an mvp?

  8. I would really like D Rose to make a come back like Metta did last season

    But I’m afraid that he is the new Grant Hill …..if you know what i mean.

    This doesn’t sound very nice but I think he’s done. Done in the way we saw his explosives plays & attacking the basket.
    When he’s back his game will be changed. Watch my words.

  9. kek says:

    its hard not to feel sorry for Drose, How unlucky can you get? Dont give up and keep working drose im rooding for you.

    • but it’s hard to imagine him back on his old drose self

    • Jim says:

      Now you know how the Porland fans felt about Brandon Roy. So much talents but prone to injuries. This is why Kobe worths all the money he gets bc not only he gets the team to the finals but also more playing time and marketing for the team. This also explains how weak of a player Rose is, psychologically, and how bad his doctors and physical therapists are. Rose probably AFRAIDED to run, jump, and twist on his left knee so much that he favored his left leg and used his right leg too much. His doctors shouldve warned him. When u overused the knee you’ll tear it, like Kobe did with the achille when he played too much last season, but Kobe older so it’s acceptable…