Chicago Bulls Doctor Vindicates Blaming Tom Thibodeau for Derrick Rose's Injury

Darrell HorwitzSenior Writer IIMay 17, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 28:  Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls grimaces as he goes up to pass over Lavoy Allen #50 of the Philadelphia 76ers after apparently injuring his knee as Jrue Holiday #11 and Spencer Hawes #00 defend in Game One of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the United Center on April 28, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the 76ers 103-91. 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

My suspicions were confirmed Tuesday when the Chicago Bulls held a press conference to discuss Derrick Rose's surgery. Team physician Brian Cole, who performed the surgery on Rose, called the ACL tear a "random event" in the Chicago Tribune Wednesday.

In other words, it happened by chance, as the dictionary says. Chance being in the wrong place at the wrong time and Rose doing the wrong thing.

You go to a doctor for a second opinion, and that's exactly what we got here. He said he didn't think the other injuries Rose suffered during the season had anything to do with the ACL tear.

Rose was on the court at the end of a game the Bulls were in control of. He made a move in the lane he has made many times before. It was the wrong time to do what comes natural to him.

Because of that, the estimate is now eight-to-12 months before he returns to the court instead of the expected six-to-nine. That could just be a cautious estimate, but for Chicago Bulls fans, it's another dagger to the heart.

You might as well write off next season because even when Rose comes back, he's not going to be the Rose we have watched for the past four years.

Dr. Cole said, "Lots of athletes come back and play at a high level, but not necessarily initially at the level they were pre-injury. Some get it at six months. Some get it at eight. It might take three years."

"It depends on the muscle physiology, confidence issues. All that plays a part."

Rose is a world-class athlete, but he has never had to go through something like this before. Many things that were second-nature to him are going to have to be relearned.

Instead of watching the Bulls play Boston in Round 2, fans of the team are wondering what could have been. With a healthy Rose, there's no reason to think Chicago would not have made a return visit to the Eastern Conference finals.

Awaiting them would probably be a depleted Miami Heat team with Chris Bosh out with an abdominal strain. If the Bulls' vaunted "Bench Mob" couldn't pull them through against Philadelphia, what chance would Miami have had with their weak bench weakened even more by Bosh's absence?

I was on record saying I didn't think the Bulls could beat Miami, but this Heat team would have been ripe for an upset.

I keep hearing I should let the Rose thing go and quit blaming Tom Thibodeau for playing him. I get the argument it could have happened anytime, but that's not true.

The doctor confirmed that. It likely would not have happened if Rose was safely tucked away on the bench where he belonged.

His coach put him at risk, and the rest is history.

Instead of yelling at the screen watching the Bulls, you're yelling at me for writing the truth.

I didn't put Rose in the game. I didn't risk his career and rob you of the fun and excitement you were looking forward to all year.

You knew the regular season didn't matter. You were waiting for the playoffs for the real games to start. They started and ended all in one game, and for that, you have only one person to blame: Thibodeau. 

Am I being too hard on him? Maybe I am to some of you, but I didn't steal hope and joy from millions of fans. 

It's been a long time waiting for Bulls fans for this time of the year to mean something again.

Instead, like so many disappointments in life, that dream came crashing down, and not only for this year, but next year too.

You can call me out all you want for not giving up on this, but my dreams were dashed too. I'm just like you, so I'm not going to give a free pass to the guy who killed the joy in Chicago.

This is the last time I'm going to write about this, but I'm not going to forget what happened and who was to blame.

You shouldn't either.