Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose will miss part of next season, and could miss all of it after tearing his ACL in the first round of the playoffs, according to the doctor who performed surgery on his injury.
Rose was operated on by Dr. Brian Cole at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago on Saturday. He tore his ACL on April 28 during the Bulls first playoff game of the season.
We're at this point very optimistic, Cole said Tuesday at a news conference at Rush University Medical Center. We think of recovery as the long process that's in stages. But the short answer is the time frame we believe an athlete of this caliber generally requires is about eight to 12 months. Sometimes shorter, sometimes longer.
In the best case scenario, Rose will miss the first two months of next season, in addition to missing all of his normal offseason routines.
To make matters worse, even at the end of that recovery, Rose will not be back to the level he was before the injury, it will take him that long just to get healthy.
While he will be at hopefully a very high level at 12 months, it still may take slightly longer for him to be at his pre-injury level. That's not uncommon for athletes of this caliber, Cole said.
His recovery isn't just about the repairs to the physical parts of his knee that have been damaged, but will encompass learning to trust the knee again. Thankfully for Rose, that is already a part of his rehab.
If you look at reasons why athletes do or do not get back to their pre-injury level of play, there's no question that the psychological component is part of it, Cole said. And because we know that, that's something we focus on.
If you look at a typical progression, he'll be doing basketball-specific activities very early on. And that's just a great feedback move just to say, 'Hey, I can do this.' And then you do sort of non-contact, basketball-friendly activities against other people to start getting a sense of, 'Hey, I can do this, I can trust my knee.' And it's this progression of low contact, high levels of contact in competition, pre-playing a real game that they get the feedback and say, 'Hey, I can really do this.' ... He will learn to be able to trust his knee.
Even if Rose is 100 percent when he returns to the floor, his absence will still affect a team that is a championship contender with him, and a middle-of-the-pack team without him. The Bulls were unable to defeat the No. 8 seed Philadelphia 76ers after losing Rose and they will have the same problems next season.