You may have seen that commercial quite a few times, but the goosebumps still seem to resonate every time you see fallen star, Derrick Rose, crumpled on the hardwood and the city of Chicago seeming to freeze in time.
A devastating ACL tear cut the postseason short for Rose and, eventually, the Bulls, as they fell to the Philadelphia 76ers in their first-round series. It was a severe final blow to Rose, who had struggled with injuries throughout last season, only to return in time for the playoffs. His return was short lived, though, and now he will have to begin an even tougher path to recovery.
The estimated time frame for Rose's return was set at anywhere between eight and 12 months, an eternity for any team without their superstar. However, it's not just the time without Rose that Chicago has to be worried about, but also how well Rose is going to be able to bounce back from a serious injury like this.
When will Derrick Rose return to his superstar form?
Coming back from an ACL tear can be hit or miss for players in the NBA, but there have been several success stories, like Jamal Crawford and Al Jefferson. Both of these players tore their ACLs but recovered back to form nicely in the next season and continued their solid play in the years after the injury.
However, for as many success stories there are, there are also some sadder stories, like Michael Redd: Once a former scoring enigma, Redd suffered an ACL tear in 2009 and went on to re-tear both his ACL and MCL the next season. The once 20-plus-points-per-game scorer is now jobless in the free-agent pool, never having fully recovered from his multiple surgeries.
For Rose, this is a very scary time in his career, especially since he is just one year removed from an MVP campaign and a 62-win season for the Bulls. He definitely has a high-octane, dangerous play style full of aggressive driving to the basket and acrobatic layups. This may be concerning to those worrying about re-injury risks, but that still doesn't mean Rose will change his game dramatically upon his return.
If Derrick Rose has shown the world anything with his basketball career, it's that he's a fighter, and he'll push through any obstacle in his path. Even if it means months and months of painful rehabilitation and watching from the sidelines, Rose will do whatever it takes to be back in uniform and on the court.
Because of his work ethic and toughness, I do think that it's very possible and maybe even likely that Derrick Rose will rise from the ashes stronger than before. It may be optimistic and foolish to think that someone could just bounce back from a major surgery and continue to play at an elite level. However, Rose is the type of player who loves his team and city too much to the point where he can't and won't let them down.
One thing Rose has in his favor is that torn ACLs have become more common in recent years, meaning that the Bulls' medical staff should have plenty of examples to work with, and that, combined with modern medicine and technology, can expedite a recovery time, even with such a serious injury. Just look at running back Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings. He tore his ACL and MCL eight months before the season started and returned in time for the first regular-season game. Now, Peterson is in the midst of an MVP-caliber season in a sport featuring immensely more contact than basketball.
Even if Peterson is playing an entirely different sport, I'm sure Derrick Rose has taken notice of his rebound, and it may serve as an inspiring story to motivate him even more.
All in all, Rose is going to come back for the Chicago Bulls sometime this season. Whether he comes back with a bang or a whimper, the fans and team will welcome him back with open arms. However, Rose and everyone else knows what his expectations are when he is fully recovered, and I think that there's reason to believe that this troubling time will end up being a blessing in disguise if Rose is able to continue playing as well as he has in the past.