Derrick Rose Lost For Season After Knee Surgery
By Benjy Lipsman in News on Nov 25, 2013 7:00PM
Image via NBA.com screengrab.
It's the worst possible deja vu for Bulls fans, as Derrick Rose is officially lost for the season -- again. The star point guard left Friday night's in Portland with an injury to his right knee, and the diagnosis announced Saturday was a torn medial meniscus. Following surgery Monday morning, Rose was ruled out for the season. The surgery was performed at Rush University Medical Center by Bull team physicians Dr. Brian Cole and Dr. Chuck Bush Joseph.
Depending on the extent of the injury and type of surgery performed, players can return to the court in as little as one month. But that usually requires the removal of the meniscus and can cause pain and complications later on. Leaving the meniscus in place and repairing the damage is better in the long term, but requires a much longer recovery period. Four to six months is typical. Apparently this is the option Rose went with.
Rose's camp had indicated over the weekend, he was likely to seek the best long-term remedy and was prepared to miss the season -- a message we Bulls fans are all too familiar with. D-Rose missed the entire 2012-13 campaign after tearing his left ACL during the 2012 playoffs. While some projected he might return as soon as last year's All-Star break, the former MVP continued to sit throughout the rest of the regular season and playoffs.
Finally returning to the court this season, Rose had shown moments of his old self while trying to shake off the accumulated rust following 17 months off the court. In 10 games, Rose was averaging 15.9 points, 4.3 assists and 3.2 rebounds in 31.1 minutes before going down with the non-contact injury on Friday.
The loss in that game was the second of three the Bulls have now suffered on the first half of their annual "Circus Trip." In their first game without Rose, the lifeless Bulls lost by 39 to the L.A. Clippers Sunday afternoon. The team now must continue on their six-game road trip without both Rose and Jimmy Butler, who is week-to-week with a toe injury.
Even after Butler returns, the Bulls are especially light on the bench this year. Because of the timing of Rose's ACL injury, the team was able to sign veteran point guards Kirk Hinrich and Nate Robinson to fill the void last season. While Hinrich remains with the Bulls, he himself is injury-prone. Backing up Hinrich is second-year point guard Marcus Teague, who is now likely to see extended playing time whether he's ready or not. We may also see more from rookie Tony Snell than we've become accustomed to seeing from first year players under coach Tom Thibodeau. There are a few options available as free agents, but nobody who can become a difference maker. Still, we wouldn't be surprised to see a Chris Duhon or Daniel Gibson added to the roster.
No matter who ends up filling the minutes, the Bulls hopes for challenging the Miami Heat come spring are effectively over. And that means that the Bulls front office may have to begin planning for the future sooner rather than later. Luol Deng becomes a free agent at season's end and many expect him to depart. That means the Bulls might try to move him in return for long term help. But we think the Bulls need to make a hard push to keep him in Chicago, because his versatility and defense might have the single biggest impact of any player on the roster if the team expects to re-tool rather than re-build. With Rose's future significantly more murky, the Bulls will also need to focus more attention on the point guard position, a spot they'd figured was locked up for a decade not too long ago. The Bulls looked like they had a small window to threaten Miami and that's now gone. John Paxson and Gar Foreman will now need to get creative to find ways to open up a new one.