Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose will miss out on yet another playoff run in 2014, but management in the Windy City remains hopeful that the 25-year-old will return to full strength next season.
“He’s making great progress,” Bulls general manager Gar Forman said on ESPN Chicago 1000’s “GameNight,” per ESPN’s Nick Friedell.
When he had the injury, we were very lucky that the meniscus could be repaired. He’ll come back and be 100 percent -- there’s no question in any of our minds. But because it was able to be repaired, he’ll have great stability in that knee and it will take away the chances that it becomes arthritic towards the end of his career.
Friedell also tweeted Forman’s unwavering stance that D-Rose will not return during postseason play.
In 10 games played for the Bulls in 2013-14, the former Memphis standout averaged 15.9 points, 4.3 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game. He was clearly rusty after missing the entire 2012-13 campaign, as he shot a career-low 35.4 percent from the field.
As a close comparison, Oklahoma City Thunder floor general Russell Westbrook suffered a torn meniscus in the playoffs last April and returned to the court ahead of schedule on Nov. 3 against the Phoenix Suns. Ultimately, however, he may have tried to return too soon. The hyper-athletic guard suffered a setback in December that sidelined him until after the All-Star break (27 games).
Chicago didn’t rush Rose back to the court after he tore his ACL, so there’s no reason to believe they’ll throw him into the ultra-competitive realm of playoff basketball. The long-term importance of a healthy Rose still far outweighs the short-term risk/reward of rushing him back to action.
Westbrook's approximate seven-month recovery time would pin Rose's comeback for sometime in June—which is obviously during the offseason. However, he may make his return to the court for Team USA this summer.
"I'm looking forward to getting back on the court this summer and having the chance to represent our country," Rose said in a statement provided by Team USA, per ESPN. "It's an honor to play for Team USA and Coach (Mike Krzyzewski)."
Although one might think Chicago's front office would be apprehensive to let its injury-prone star player compete, that isn't the case.
"Our thinking is that it would be a terrific opportunity for him," Forman said via text message, according to Friedell. "And we would be supportive of him playing."