Derrick Rose Should Bounce Back to Pre-Injury Stardom

Dhiren MahibanFeatured ColumnistOctober 29, 2013

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 28:  Derrick Rose

If history is any indication of how Derrick Rose will recover from the torn ACL that kept him out last season, Chicago Bulls fans, and Rose fans, need not worry. 

Both Iman Shumpert and Ricky Rubio returned from ACL tears during the 2012-13 season and managed to return to their pre-injury numbers.

Bouncing Back
Shumpert9.5 ppg/ 28.9 min6.8 ppg/22.1 min
Rubio10.6 ppg/34.2 min10.7 ppg/29.7 min

Rose, 25, is two years older than both Schumpert and Rubio, but he undoubtedly has more talent. During the 2011-12 season, in which Rose tore his ACL, he was averaging 25 points and 35.3 minutes per game.

The challenge for Rose now is to not just return to action, but to the dynamic form which won him the 2011 NBA MVP award. During the 2010-11 season, Rose averaged 25 points and 37.4 minutes per game. At just 22 years of age, Rose became the youngest player to win the Maurice Podoloff Trophy, a record which was previously held by Wes Unseld. 

Rose's ability to rise to the top in the playoffs was sorely missed last season, as the Bulls lost to the Heat in the Eastern Conference semifinals. During the 2011 playoffs, Rose averaged a whopping 40 minutes per game while averaging 27.1 points per game.  

In December 2011, Rose signed a five-year contract extension worth $98.4 million, and the Bulls are still waiting to see a return on that investment.

Despite returning to full contact practice with his Bulls teammates in January, Rose has yet to play a regular season game. One has to hope the added recovery time pays dividends for Rose and the Bulls.

Bulls fans got a minor scare when Rose sat out Chicago’s pre-season game in Rio de Janeiro Oct. 12 due to soreness in his left knee, but it was precautionary, and Rose returned to score 22 points in the Bulls 96-81 win over the Pistons five nights later.

Rose will play in his first meaningful NBA game tonight when Chicago tips off its 2013-14 NBA season in Miami, the team which ended the Bulls playoff runs in both 2011 and 2013. One should expect it to be the first step in a successful return from an injury for Rose.