Derrick Rose done for season
The 2010-11 league MVP had the medial meniscus repaired in his right knee at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. The surgery was to be performed by Dr. Brian Cole, who performed the ACL surgery on Rose's left knee in May 2012.
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The disappointment from within the Bulls' locker room has been palpable since Rose injured his right knee in the third quarter of a game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday night, but Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau and his players were trying to focus on positives, not negatives Monday.
"I texted him," Thibodeau said of his communication with Rose. "The surgery was a success. So he obviously has to focus in on the rehab. And our team, we have to lock into our improvement and getting wins. The big thing for him is he just has to focus in on his rehab. The fact that he's already done it once, he has great mental toughness, he'll be fine. This will be another bump in the road, he'll get past it. We expect him to make a full recovery."
Having dealt with Rose's various injuries over the last three years, Thibodeau is confident his team will be able to bounce back.
"It's the nature of the NBA," Thibodeau said. "It's constant change, there's always things being thrown at you and it's how quickly you can adapt to those changes. So that's the challenge that we're faced with right now. The games are coming, we have to be ready, we have to come out with the right mindset and we have to go after people."
Having said that, the veteran coach also knows that his team won't be able to replace Rose. He understands that the Bulls can't expect to play the same way without the former MVP, he just wants them to continue to play tough.
"You don't replace a guy like Derrick individually," Thibodeau said. "For us we have to understand we have to do that collectively. So we have to play great defense. We have to share the ball on offense and we have to play together. I think if we do that we're going to give ourselves a good chance."
Heading into the procedure, there appeared to be two options for repairing Rose's knee. He could have had the meniscus, or a portion of it, removed and been back on the floor in a matter of weeks. Having the meniscus reattached, which appears to be the route Rose and the Bulls took, sidelines him four to six months.
While the first procedure would have put him back on the court sooner, many players who have had that procedure, including Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade, say that it causes more problems later in a player's career.
It appears that with the 25-year-old Rose the organization chose to take the longer approach with the hope that he can return to being the same player as before his first knee injury.
"Like Bulls fans everywhere, I was heartbroken when I heard of Derrick's injury," Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement. "We are happy to know that, according to his doctors, his surgery was successful, and in time, Derrick is expected to make a full recovery. Everyone at the Bulls knows firsthand how extremely hard Derrick worked to return to the court this year, and I have no doubt he will do the same with regards to his recovery from this injury. Despite Derrick's absence, this is still a good team. I know from last year, this team and coaching staff will continue to make our fans proud."
Before the surgery, Thibodeau said the team felt bad for Rose after all the work he had put in to return.
"I talked to him at length last night. He's in good spirits," he said. "About as well as can be expected under the circumstances. And he's already thinking about his rehab, and typical Derrick -- concerned about his team, his teammates. But that being said, we can't feel sorry for ourselves. We're the Chicago Bulls. We have one goal, that's to win. And I believe we have the personnel in that locker room to get it done."
Kentucky's John Calipari, who coached Rose at Memphis, tweeted on Monday:
If there's anyone who can bounce back from this, it's @drose. My message to Derrick would be to stay strong and stay focused. Love you, kid.— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) November 25, 2013
Bulls players were also understandably sad regarding the fact that their leader was going to be out for the year again. They know how much he means to the team, and the city of Chicago.
"My reaction was, 'Gosh, I hope it's not anything related to the surgically repaired knee,' " Bulls swingman Mike Dunleavy Jr. said. "And when it was the other knee and you're like, 'OK, well that's good.' And then you think it's the ACL, you hope it's not that, and then you find out it's not that it's the meniscus you think 'so that's good.' But then he's going to miss the whole season so ultimately you just feel for him. He's such a great guy, great teammate and you're disappointed for him."
Robert Smith, who was Rose's coach at Simeon Career Academy in Chicago, said the high school held a moment of silence Monday to pray for Rose's recovery.
"Watching him the last couple games, seeing him start to turn the corner and have another freak injury like that, that's hard," Smith said. "But Derrick is strong. He'll get back in there and get his body right to be able to get back there and play."
ESPN.com's Kevin Arnovitz contributed to this report.