The team said that Rose had successful surgery Monday morning in Chicago to repair a torn medial meniscus in his right knee. He was hurt Friday night at Portland.
The 2011 NBA Most Valuable Player missed all of last season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in Chicago’s 2012 playoff opener against Philadelphia. He has played in just 50 NBA games – 49 in the regular season and that lone playoff game – since the Bulls’ run to the Eastern Conference finals during his MVP season.
The latest injury occurred in the third quarter against the Trail Blazers.
He lost his footing while trying to change direction to get back on defense when Nicolas Batum stole a pass from Joakim Noah and started the other way. Rose limped across the court and couldn’t put any weight on his knee. After the Blazers scored, he came out of the game during a timeout.
It didn’t appear there was any contact on the play. Rose was unable to return and was on crutches afterward.
With Rose back, the Bulls were expected to challenge LeBron James and the Miami Heat for supremacy in the Eastern Conference and contend for their first championship since the Michael Jordan-Scottie Pippen era. Instead, they’re in a familiar spot – trying to get by without their best player.
“We, of course, feel very badly for Derrick. He’s in good spirits, about as well as can be expected under the circumstances, and he’s already thinking about his rehab,” coach Tom Thibodeau said Sunday. The top-seeded Bulls bowed out in the first round of the playoffs in 2012 against Philadelphia after Rose went down and fell into a season-long holding pattern without him last year, waiting for a return that didn’t happen.
His recovery took on a circus-like feel. Fans saw him shooting and dunking before games last season and wondered why he wasn’t playing, particularly as the Bulls fought through injuries and illnesses down the stretch. All of that faded into the background with Rose back this season – and insisting he could regain his MVP form.
He was off to an up-and-down start. He was averaging 15.9 points and was shooting just over 35 percent.
Without Rose, veteran Kirk Hinrich figures to start with second-year pro Marquis Teague backing him up.
“I think we have an understanding of what we need to do,” Thibodeau said.