A year ago last weekend, the Bulls’ Derrick Rose crumpled to the ground with a torn ACL, taking the team’s playoff chances with him. At the time everyone knew it would be a long recovery for D-Rose, but even the most pessimistic Bulls fan would’ve guessed that he would be back for this year’s playoffs.
He’s not back, as we all know, and the Bulls have held their own without their MVP. But basketball fans are left to wonder: What’s it going to take for D-Rose to make a comeback? After the injury last year, Science Life spoke to Dr. J. Martin Leland, assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery, about ACL injuries and the recovery process. We were rereading the interview recently, and Leland said something about his time working with the Philadelphia Eagles that, had we known better at the time, would prove to be prescient:
When I was working with the Philadelphia Eagles, Donovan McNabb tore his ACL and had it reconstructed. Nine months into his recovery he was telling reporters he was about 75 percent back, because he understood in order to get back on the field, he had to be literally 100 percent, the best shape he’d ever been in in his life, or else he would get crushed by someone on the defense. Recreational athletes tend to get back a little sooner because you don’t need that same level of strength. But for professional athletes it’s usually 9 to 12 months, which means not only will Derrick miss the entire playoffs, no matter how long they go for the Bulls, he’ll miss the Olympics, and probably miss anywhere between the beginning and the entire first half of this next season.
So is Derrick Rose in the best shape of his life now? His brother says he’s not ruling out a return for a potential round 2 matchup against the Heat. And come to think of it, with Kirk Hinrich now out with a bruised calf, the Bulls could use another guard.