Derrick Rose is out for the foreseeable future, set to undergo surgery to repair a torn medial meniscus in his right knee. The injury could keep the Chicago Bulls point guard out for the remainder of the 2014-2015 season, but the team is hopeful that the former MVP will be back on the court this year.
No timetable has been given for Rose’s return, and one won’t be determined until he has surgery. According to ESPNChicago.com, some members of the organization are trying to remain optimistic, in hopes that the 26-year-old will be back in just six weeks.
"I think we're all optimistic about it," Bulls leading scorer Jimmy Butler said. "We want him back and I'm sure he's going to try and get back as soon as possible."
Rose’s injury history, however, suggests that his season could be done. He tore the same meniscus 15 months ago, and surgery forced him to miss the final five months of last year.
The upcoming procedure will be the third knee surgery that Rose has undergone since 2012. He tore his ACL in the team’s first playoff game of that season, and was forced to miss the entire 2012-2013 season. When Rose suffered his most recent injury, it came after having missed 214 regular-season and postseason games in the last four years.
If Rose hopes to be back for the playoffs, his recovery time cannot be more than seven weeks. Chicago’s final regular-season contest is scheduled for April 15 against the Atlanta Hawks, and the playoffs will begin on April 18. The Bulls are all but guaranteed to make the postseason at 36-22, 11.5 games ahead of the No.8 seed in the Eastern Conference.
Even though there is a chance Rose will be able to come back and play this season, Bulls’ fans have little reason to be hopeful. When Rose suffered the same injury last year, he was ruled out for the rest of the year. After tearing his ACL in April 2012, Rose didn’t play at all in the following season, even though he was medically cleared to play for the final two months of the year.
Since tearing his ACL, Rose has failed to play at an All-Star level. In 10 games last season, he averaged 15.9 points and 4.3 assists per game on just 35.4 percent shooting. He’s averaging 18.4 points and 5.0 assists per game in 2014-2015, compared to the 25 points and 7.7 assists he averaged during his MVP season.
Rose is in year No.3 of a five-year deal that will pay him $94 million. He’s only played 56 games during the contract, and he could find himself missing the entirety of another Chicago playoff run.
"I don't know what to say other than it's just so unfair," Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said on Wednesday. "A guy's been through so much and you know what he's put into it. This one, any time you have surgery it's tough, but hopefully this one will be much shorter than the other ones."