CHICAGO -- At a certain point while reporters directed questions at the orthopedic surgeon who performed Derrick Rose's reconstructive knee surgery, the medical jargon started to blur together.
All anyone wanted to know is when. And how. When will Rose be able to return full-time to the basketball court and how will he regain the form that has made him one of the best players in the NBA?
The short answer to the timetable question, said Bulls team surgeon Dr. Brian Cole, is eight to 12 months. The long answer was somewhat chilling.
"While he will hopefully be at a very high level in 12 months, it still may take slightly longer to be at his pre-injury level," Cole said. "That's not uncommon in athletes of this caliber."
And in one sentence by the medical professional best-equipped to predict, the reality of the situation set in. The next time we see the Derrick Rose we have grown so accustomed to watching on the basketball court, he will be 25 years old. Still young, likely still supremely gifted, but no longer a kid either.