Derrick Rose Injury: Bad Back Will Prevent Chicago Bulls Star from Winning MVP

Bob BajekAnalyst IIIFebruary 15, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - FEBRUARY 14: Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls, held out of the game with a sore back, watches his teammates take on the Sacramento Kings at the United Center on February 14, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Kings 121-115. 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 Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Derrick Rose is the defending NBA MVP winner from last year, but the Chicago Bulls star will not defend his crown this season due to his lingering back issues.

The 23-year-old Rose, who played at Simeon Career Academy and University of Memphis, has missed significant time with injury this year. D-Rose has struggled with turf toe in his left big toe that sidelined him for a few games.

Now, the reigning MVP is having lower back spasms that doctors believe to be muscular damage, not structural.

Rose has missed three straight games due to his back, and even though he is listed as day-to-day, expect Rose to miss more time.

In a Chicago Sun-Times article, Dr. Jeff Winternheimer of the Illinois Back Institute said that while the MRI on Rose's back did not show any structural damage, there could be a disc-related injury:

When you have a problem with your foot it predisposes you to have a problem with you back. It alters your mechanics of movement. You’ve modified movement patterns as a result of the [injured] big toe. If you alter your movement pattern you throw off the kinetic chain and there is a weakness further up. The fact that they have to play three days in a row and in airplanes every day doesn’t help.

Rose admitted in that same article he has some back problems while playing for Simeon, and Winternheimer said D-Rose's back is weakened and would need "aggressive therapy" to recover.

Bulls general manager Gar Forman told the Chicago Tribune he hopes Rose will come back soon. However, hearing Dr. Winternheimer discuss Rose's back being weakened from his high school days and his turf toe indirectly aggravating his back, Rose might be out longer than Forman and the Bulls think.

Rose is averaging 22.0 points, 7.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds while shooting 46.8 percent. Those are some solid numbers. However, with Rose missing eight games and counting this season, NBA writers will be less inclined to vote for the Bulls point guard if he's not consistently on the hardwood.

To put that in perspective, D-Rose sat out just one contest last year in a full 82-game season.

Plus, the Bulls have been doing well without Rose in the lineup. So far, Chicago has managed a 6-2 record sans Rose. Backup point guard C.J. Watson has admirably filled in for Rose by posting 14.7 points and 5.7 assists in six stellar starts. 

Missing time will doom Rose's chances of repeating as league MVP as superstars like the Miami Heat's  LeBron James (28.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 6.8 assists) and the Los Angles Lakers' Kobe Bryant (28.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists) are lighting the league on fire.

A bothersome back will prevent Rose from repeating as the NBA's top player, but hopefully that same back doesn't destroy the Bulls' title chances in a very winnable year.


Bob Bajek is a featured columnist for the Chicago Bulls. He is also a freelance reporter and can be followed on and Twitter.