'Rushing Derrick Rose Back' Is the Biggest Non-Controversy in the NBA

Ernest ShepardAnalyst IIIDecember 21, 2012

October 1, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose (1) poses for photos during Chicago Bulls media day at the Berto Center.  Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson did it and now Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls should do it too. If Peterson can “rush (USA Today explains the road to recovery for athletes)” back from a torn ACL to help lead his team in the NFL playoff hunt, why would it be a big deal if Rose were to do the same?

Peterson suffered his torn ACL on Christmas Eve last season, and he returned to the football field in August. He currently leads the NFL in rushing yards with 1,812. With two games remaining on the Vikings’ schedule, he has a chance to break the NFL rushing record of 2,105 held by Eric Dickerson.

Peterson is having an MVP-type season. His speedy return to football is newsworthy, not controversial.

Peterson’s success is why you must temper your excitement regarding a possible early return for Rose.

Rose’s injury situation is different from Peterson’s situation.  You must consider the athlete, not their injury.   

If Rose returns to the Bulls from his rehab a few weeks ahead of schedule, it will not be a controversial decision. He knows his body and his threshold for pain. He also knows what he needs to do to continue improving his game. That being said, why is there a huge fuss about it?

If Rose were to return in mid-January, would the headlines read: Chicago Bulls Star Returns Ahead of Schedule, Will He Re-injure His Achilles? It would strongly suggest that the Bulls rushed their star player back before he has fully recovered.

Before we rush to judgment, consider Web MD’s take on recovery time for ACL surgery:

Physical rehabilitation after ACL surgery may take several months to a year. The length of time until you can return to normal activities or sports is different for every person. It may range from 4 to 6 months.


Fans marveled about Rose’s athleticism and strength before the injury. Bulls’ television analyst Stacey King has always dubbed Rose as “too big, too strong, too fast and too good.” Who are we to turn his possible early return into a big controversy?

No one knows how far along Rose is in his rehab. That is except for Rose, the Bulls’ team management and their team physicians.

Thankfully, they have all been mum when the subject comes up during the Bulls' media sessions.

Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau was business as usual the other day, while discussing Rose on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning.

Thibodeau on Rose’s recovery:

He's right on schedule. He's not ahead of schedule. He's not behind. We have to be patient. It's the type of injury that you have to take your time with, and when he's ready to come back, he'll be ready to come back. There is no time scheduled for it.


Thibodeau’s comments about Rose did nothing to fan the flames about a possible early return.

We must give Thibodeau some credit because he has been consistent. Earlier in the season, just before the Bulls’ annual circus trip, Thibodeau spoke with Aggrey Sam of CSN Chicago about Rose.

He’s doing great. We have to be patient with it. He’s been very diligent. He’s in every day. He’s moving along. He started cutting. He’s been shooting for a while now. He’s feeling pretty good, so we just have to be patient.

It’s the next step for him, so everything is going according to plan. He’s not ahead of schedule, he’s not behind schedule. He’s exactly where he should be.

We’re going to do what we think is best for both the team and Derrick, so for this trip, I like him being in one place. He might meet us out in L.A., but for him, the rehab has to be the priority, so that’s what I want him to focus in on. For us, it’s a long trip and we’re going to be jumping around, so he’ll be on the trip for part of it. He’ll meet us out in L.A.


Sam also caught up with Thibodeau a few days ago to discuss Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio’s return from a similar ACL surgery.

Thibodeau compared the injuries of Rubio and Rose:

I don’t think it has really anything to do with Derrick because I think each guy is different and separate, but I’m happy to see it for him. Ricky Rubio is a terrific player and you hate to see anybody go down with that type of injury, so I’m glad that he’s back. I think it’ll be a big plus for Minnesota. Derrick’s doing fine. Just got to be patient. He’s just got to keep doing the things that he’s doing.


Rubio suffered his injury on March 10, during the closing moments in a loss against the Los Angeles Lakers. He returned to the basketball court on Dec 15.

According to Sean Deveney of Sporting News, the Timberwolves have placed an 18 minutes per game limit on Rubio’s playing time. The Timberwolves will also rest Rubio during the second game of their back-to-backs.

Given how the Timberwolves are handling Rubio’s recovery, Bulls fans should have some hope.

If Rose were to return in 10 months, the way that Rubio did, we are talking about a late February return. If he (Rose) returns any time sooner, we must consider it remarkable comeback, but not a controversy.


Stats used in this article were accurate as of 12-20-12.