Derrick Rose: What Does His Injury Mean for the Chicago Bulls?

Peter OwenCorrespondent IIFebruary 13, 2012

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 29:  Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls looks on during a game against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena on January 29, 2012 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Chicago Bulls' point guard Derrick Rose will visit a back specialist in Chicago today as he tries to deal with back spasms that have ruled him out of the team's last two games.

The injury was thought to be short term when he left in the first quarter of the Bulls' visit to the New York Knicks February 2. But after playing limited minutes against both the New Jersey Nets and New Orleans Hornets, Rose sat out against the Charlotte Bobcats and was still unable to play in Sunday's nationally televised game at the Boston Celtics.

The entire Bulls organization and its fans will be holding their breath while Rose visits the specialist as he is the franchise.

But what happens if Rose is out for an extended period of time? What happens if this injury becomes a lingering issue that makes Rose the next Allen Iverson?

What happens if the reigning MVP can't perform at 100% in the playoffs because of his back?

The Bulls are built around their talisman and leader Rose. An injury to him is probably survivable in the short-term as the East is top-heavy. All the Bulls really need to secure is home-court advantage in at least the first round.

The real problems begin if this injury is recurring.

If Rose's back now becomes Kobe's wrist or Amar'e Stoudemire's knees, the Chicago Bulls have a massive issue on their hands.

Derrick Rose is the primary talent on the roster and, with close to $100 million committed to him over the next five seasons, the Bulls have made their status clear.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 30: Derrick Rose #1 (L) talks with teammate Joakim Noah #13 of the Chicago BuJoakim NDerrick Rose (R) during the second half against the Washington Wizards at Verizon Center on January 30, 2012 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: Use
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Along with massive extensions for both Joakim Noah this season and Luol Deng a few seasons ago coupled with the slightly overpriced contract Carlos Boozer was lured in with, the Bulls are pretty inflexible when it comes to making trades for big names.

If Rose is out for a longer spell of this season, the Bulls should cope fine. They have played 30 games, the most in the NBA. Twenty of those have been away from home and they have just finished a nine-game, 15-day road trip with a 6-3 record.

They play three games this week and two next week as they make it to the All-Star break. After that, the Bulls have 8 weeks and 28 games to play, just a little over three games per week.

This means that if Rose sits until the All-Star weekend (he'll want to play in the All-Star Game), he'll have a very light schedule in the run-in to the playoffs. This benefits everyone on the Bulls' team currently nursing an ailment (Rose is not alone).

To play devils' advocate, if Rose is out longer than this, say into the playoffs, the Bulls are in real trouble. They could find themselves out in the first round if their leader is out of action or not game-ready after a long lay-off.

If the news on Monday is not good and Rose is going to face having this problem long-term, the Bulls are going to have to consider their options.

Bulls' fans worldwide have never been more nervous.