Derrick Rose's injury could be a serious blow to the Bulls' title hopes in 2013
ESPN reports that the star guard could miss as much as eight to 12 months.
Once one of the favorites to win the 2012 NBA title, the Bulls have now lost star Rose for as much as a year. If his recovery time is more on the side of 12 months, it seems as though Chicago's title hopes for next year have been shot as well.
They finished the lockout-shortened season at 50-16 despite losing Rose for quite a few of those games, and the Bulls entered this year's playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the East.
Late in Game 1 of their first-round matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers, with the Bulls winning by double-digits, Rose landed awkwardly on his left knee. He left the game, and it was later discovered that he had torn his ACL.
Rose's doctor, Brian Cole, said this at a press conference after Rose's surgery (via ESPN.com):
We're at this point very optimistic...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.
The Sixers are not a team that can pour it on like the Miami Heat, and there was some controversy over whether coach Tom Thibodeau should have been playing Rose at all with the game so comfortably in hand for the Bulls.
And according to Cole, the former MVP will not be rushed back to the court:
We're not going to rush it. The most important thing is all of us feel comfortable based on specific parameters that he's ready to go at each stage as we advance him. If he's not ready, we'll delay. If he's ready, we'll move him to the next stage.
How far will the Bulls go in 2013?
His doctor also noted that Rose should return to his old form, although it is not guaranteed.
The young point guard is widely regarded as the best in the league, and Chicago's shot at the 2013 title has been seriously crippled by the recent news.
Bulls GM Gar Forman had this to say about the team's future:
Obviously short term we're going to take a hit. Our thinking in general long term won't change at all. But short term obviously you don't replace Derrick, and what he brings to the team and the production he's got.
While Thibodeau and the Bulls have a solid core around Rose, they can't survive in today's NBA without their star.