Saying the Chicago Bulls can have their sigh of relief moment is slightly exaggerating, but there’s no doubt the news of Derrick Rose suffering “only” from a meniscus tear, which means he’s out indefinitely but not for the entire season, put a certain degree of a smile on someone(s) face.
Rose injured his right knee as the Bulls lost to the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night, taking a wrong turn and planting his foot in the wrong way. He had to be taken off the court with help, and was seen on crutches leaving the arena. The initial concern was an ACL tear to his right knee, which meant probably missing the entire season again.
Meniscus tear? Still surgery, and still a second significant injury to the Bulls’ star player (who they also pay a lot of money to) in 19 months can’t be something the front office and the coaching staff are happy with, but there has to be some optimism in the diagnosis, especially when considering other cases of players suffering from the same injury.
Obviously, a lot has to do with how ‘safe’ the team wants to play it, and in Rose’s case, it’s probably as safe as possible. However, there isn’t a formula to Meniscus tear comebacks, which can take two weeks to recover from for some players, but have been known to be more around six to eight weeks for most players.
Metta World Peace might not be the best example of anything normal, but he needed only 12 days to get back from a similar injury, even though he was originally slated to miss around six weeks. Leon Powe needed 7 weeks to come back from the injury, and so did Tyrus Thomas, even though he was listed to miss eight weeks.
So how long will Rose be out? Indefinitely now, but 6-to-10 weeks is the reasonable assessment. The Bulls should be fine, more or less, without him, which means remaining as a team inside the top 8 of the Eastern conference, getting used to playing without their star point guard for lengthy periods. Questions about how good Rose will be when he comes back (just was starting to find his form, scoring 20 points twice in a week) are going to be harder to answer.