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Bulls’ Derrick Rose out indefinitely with torn medial meniscus

Derrick Rose leaves ModCenter crutches after he was injured an NBA basketball game against PortlTrail Blazers PortlOre. (AP Photo/The Oregonian

Derrick Rose leaves the Moda Center on crutches after he was injured in an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Bruce Ely )

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Updated: November 24, 2013 2:18PM



LOS ANGELES — Derrick Rose’s season is in doubt.

The Bulls announced Saturday that Rose suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee Friday night in the 98-95 loss to the Trail Blazers and would be out indefinitely after surgery.

According to a source in Rose’s camp, indefinitely could mean the season.

“Derrick is going to do what’s best for him long-term, no matter how long that takes,” the source said. “If it’s the year, it’s the year.”

Rose was scheduled to leave the team and head back to Chicago. According to the source, Rose “was as down as he’s been in a long time.”

The Bulls said those comments were made out of emotion, and they’ll reserve judgment until after the surgery.

There are several procedures to repair the meniscus. A reattachment would cost Rose the season. A removal allows for a chance to return in four to six weeks, but it also opens up the possibility of knee issues down the road.

Heat star Dwyane Wade passed on the reattachment when he had problems with the meniscus years ago. He said he regrets that decision.

That doesn’t sound like a path Rose would choose.

“We’ll take it step by step,” coach Tom Thibodeau said. “The games are going to keep coming. No one will feel sorry for us, so we’re going to have to be ready.”

The collateral damage of the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee that Rose suffered is well-documented. He missed 18 months.

His return, however, hasn’t been all that smooth.

Rose missed a preseason game in Brazil when the left knee had some soreness, he was hampered with a sore neck and he also missed a game in Toronto last week with a tweaked hamstring.

But no one could’ve guessed this was coming. Not when Rose seemed to be getting more comfortable with his timing the last few games.

Rose’s right knee buckled on a non-contact cut in the third quarter. He tried to run down the court on it but was soon on the bench, wincing in pain as he flexed the knee. By the time the fourth quarter in Portland was set to begin, Rose was helped off to the locker room.

Now, the organization has to ask itself, “What next?’’

If Rose is done for the season, the Bulls have to start rebuilding sooner rather than later.

That means looking to deal free agent-to-be Luol Deng in the next few months, as well as talking to teams about Carlos Boozer and Kirk Hinrich.

It’s in the best interest of the franchise to consider playing for more pingpong balls in the NBA lottery than chasing mediocrity without Rose.

The model has been building the team around the hometown kid in Rose, but now it should be about building around another hometown star — Jabari Parker. Or trying to land an Andrew Wiggins, Julius Randle or Marcus Smart. If there was a draft to rebuild in, and do so quickly, it could be the upcoming one.

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com



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