Some early reports have suggested that Chicago Bulls superstar point guard Derrick Rose could be lost for the rest of the season.
Returning after a year away to properly heal the torn ACL in his left knee, the 25-year-old three-time All-Star injured his right knee in the third quarter of Chicago’s 98-95 loss at Portland on Friday night.
Rose was carried to the locker room by trainers, and left the stadium using crutches, while head coach Tom Thibodeau refused to speculate on the extent of his best player’s injury.
"He has pain and he felt like he couldn't push off his right knee," Thibodeau said in the postgame press conference. “I'm concerned. Any time anyone goes down, you're concerned," he said. "But I don't want to speculate until we get more information for you guys. We'll have more [Saturday] for you guys."
Thibodeau also stated the obvious as to how important Rose is to Chicago’s success.
"I know how much work he's put into his rehab, the type of person he is, the type of player he is. So concern for that, I feel for him because of all the things he does mean to our team."
Rose is reportedly scheduled to undergo an MRI exam on Saturday that should detail any damage done, and how much time he could miss.
While all of Chicago is praying for good news, two early reports suggest the Bulls fear a torn ACL.
Source: #Bulls Rose cannot put any weight on the knee, and may fly back to Chicago for the MRI. "Fearing the worst."â€” Jordan Bernfield (@JordanBernfield) November 23, 2013
Multiple sources reporting Bulls fear Derrick Rose has sustained another ACL tear. Could put career in jeopardy. Will have scan later.â€” Mark Woods (@markbritball) November 23, 2013
ESPN Chicago’s Nick Friedell reported that the Bulls locker room was dejected and very concerned for Rose and its season. Largely off their stellar defense, the Bulls earned the fifth seed last season with Rose out, and won their first round matchup before falling to eventual champion Miami in the second.
With a roster specifically built to complement Rose’s strengths, Chicago would likely struggle to make a deep postseason or championship run without him.
How Rose hurt his knee looked eerily similar to when he went down in the first round of the 2012 playoffs. With no contact on the play, Portland’s Nicolas Batum made a steal while Rose cut to the basket, and as Rose quickly turned back up court his knee buckled slightly.
Despite leaving in the third quarter, Rose still led the Bulls in scoring with 20 points, five rebounds and two steals.
When healthy, Rose led Chicago to the Eastern Conference Finals during his 2010-11 MVP season, and he’s been called the player most capable of threatening Miami for dominance in the East.