The injury-prone Chicago Bulls may never get their five best players on the floor at the same time.
Chicago needs to have this group healthy if they want to capture their first NBA title since the unforgettable Michael Jordan era back in the ‘90s.
Rose, the indisputable face of the franchise, is the player who the team needs on the court most.
The three-time All-Star and 2011 NBA MVP is set to miss the majority of the 2012-13 season as he recovers from a devastating ACL injury. He suffered the injury during Game 1 of last season’s playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers after landing awkwardly on his left knee.
That injury was just the icing on the cake for Rose, whose body had been banged up basically the entire year. He appeared in only 39 games for the Bulls during the regular season due to turf toe, back spasms, pulled groin and foot injuries.
Let’s hope Rose can return 100 percent healthy this upcoming season and rid himself of the injury bug for good.
Rose’s sidekick, Luol Deng, has been a bit injury-prone ever since his arrival in Chicago back in 2004. The former Duke Blue Devil missed 21 games as a rookie after injuring his right wrist, which required late-season surgery.
Deng would go on to miss 19 games in his fourth season, 33 games in 2008-09 and then 12 games the following campaign. And Last season, he appeared in just 54 ball games for the Bulls, as he tore ligaments in his left wrist.
The talented All-Star small forward decided this summer to delay surgery to repair the wrist and will play hurt for the upcoming 2012-13 season.
By forgoing the operation, Deng had the opportunity to represent Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Olympics in his hometown of London.
Unlike Deng, Bulls frontcourt teammate Joakim Noah was unable to participate in the Olympics since he wasn’t far enough along in his recovery from a left ankle sprain he suffered during the playoff series versus Philadelphia.
An outstanding defender and rebounder, Noah is easily one of the NBA’s better centers. However, he’s also known to be a little bit injury-prone. He missed just two games last season, but was sidelined for 34 games in 2010-11 and 18 the previous season.
The Bulls need their talented center to shake the injury bug and play his usual stellar D against opposing big men.
Bulls starting power forward Carlos Boozer is no stranger to injuries either. During his days with the Utah Jazz, he missed 31 games in 2004-05, 49 games in 2005-06 and a whopping 45 games in 2008-09.
Signing with the Bulls as a free agent in 2010, Boozer would miss 23 games due to injury in his debut season with the team.
Fortunately, though, Boozer appeared in all 66 games for the Bulls last season (lockout-shortened), the first time in his career that he didn’t miss a single game.
Can he continue to stay off the injury list? Fans in Chicago sure hope so.
Rounding out the starting five for the Bulls is Rip “Richard” Hamilton, who is set to enter his second season with the team. The Bulls signed the three-time All-Star last December, hoping he would become the missing shooting guard to the championship puzzle.
However, Hamilton’s first season in Chicago proved to be nothing short of disappointing, with injuries forcing him to miss all but 28 games.
Hamilton has been plagued by injuries the past few seasons. During his final five seasons with the Detroit Pistons, he played in only 315 out of a possible 410 games.
In 2012-13, Hamilton will look to stay injury-free all season for the first time in quite a while.
Will Bulls fans ever get to see their team’s star-studded starting lineup on the court together for a significant amount of time? Surrounded by the ugly “injury-prone” label, the chances are pretty slim.