No two knee injuries are ever the same. But despite that fact, there's a lot that Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose can learn from Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson when it comes to making a successful return from a devastating knee injury.
After all, Peterson is leading the NFL in rushing with 957 yards just 10 months after taking a helmet to the knee and tearing both his ACL and MCL last Christmas Eve. Clearly, Peterson has become the model for how to bounce back from this sort of injury, and that's why Rose must take Peterson's helpful advice to heart.
My advice for him would be to just attack it. Right now, the ligament is strong enough to cut with it. Don't be hesitant. When you're out doing drills, do it as you normally would any other day. Push yourself and challenge yourself. That's the only way you'll build the strength and confidence to where it should be.
Rose tore his ACL in the Bulls' first playoff last spring and hasn't played since.
Peterson and Rose have a lot of similarities, though. The most obvious is their explosive style of play, which makes them extra prone to injury and, on the other hand, so great at what they do.
They both became the faces of their respective franchises almost immediately, thanks to early success at the pro level. Peterson, who's in the midst of his sixth NFL season, is just three years older than Rose, who's entering his fifth NBA season.
At this point, the only thing Rose has that Peterson doesn't is a league MVP award.
Sure, Peterson doesn't know all the ins and outs of Rose's injury, and neither do most of us. But the biggest takeaway from his advice is that Rose's recovery is more mental than anything else and that the key to returning better than ever is to "attack" the rehab process (via ESPNChicago.com's Melissa Isaacson):
And that's what I would tell him: "Man, you're (six months out), you're strong, you can't damage it unless a freak accident takes place. Attack it like any other day and make sure, when you're done working out, you know you've accomplished something."
It's hard to argue that Peterson isn't the guy to listen to in this case. He's not only returned to the field after last winter's brutal knee injury, but he's excelled in a short recovery time.
Rose may not be able to get back onto the floor as quickly as Peterson got back to the gridiron, but all that matters is that he takes his fellow athlete's advice to heart. Derrick Rose is at his best when he's attacking and making explosive plays. Therefore, it's only natural that he attack his rehab with every bit as much intensity and desire.
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