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.
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:
Couple ways to deal with a meniscus tear. Take it out, you return faster but can shorten your career. Reattach it, miss maybe 4-6 months.
— Tim S. Grover (@ATTACKATHLETICS) November 23, 2013
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 ***