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With thoughts on injured Rose, Bulls blasted by Clippers 121-82

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Updated: November 25, 2013 10:27AM



LOS ANGELES – The Bulls announced on Sunday that star point guard Derrick Rose will have surgery to repair the torn medial meniscus in his right knee Monday afternoon in Chicago.

According to coach Tom Thibodeau, once the surgery is complete they will have a better idea of a timetable for the 2011 MVP to return.

As far as Thibodeau fixing the psyche of his suddenly void-of-a-star team, well, there is no schedule for that. And maybe there won’t be this season.

If Sunday’s 121-82 loss to the Clippers was any indication, a season that was supposed to be so special suddenly feels like it could be on a crash-course to disaster.

“I think it’s more your little brother being hurt,’’ Deng said of the Rose injury aftermath. “I think that’s why everyone’s head is down. It’s not so much the fact we don’t believe in each other or aren’t going to fight, it’s just that that’s a good kid and he worked so hard.

“We’ve seen him work hard and be the first one at practice every day and the last to leave and encouraging everybody. Coming back and making everyone believe we have the chance to do something special. When we took a hit like that it’s hard. The people that don’t know him had a hard time hearing that. The people that know him just know how much work he put into it.’’

Rose’s comeback from the 2012 torn anterior cruciate ligament was well-documented coming into the season. For his teammates it was almost inspirational because of the work they saw him put in.

So when Thibodeau gathered the team in the hotel on Saturday to give them the news of the latest injury, it was another punch to the gut.

“It’s got to be tough for him to go through what he went through last year and have something like this happen again,’’ Kirk Hinrich said. “As teammates and his friends, we’re here for him. But we have to find a way to get it done.’’

Allowing the Clips to shoot 62 percent from the field in the first half, and then getting outscored in the fourth 25-9 definitely wasn’t getting it done.

And while Thibodeau was not pleased with the outcome, he seemed willing to give his players a pass. A one-day pass at that.

“The games are going to keep coming,’’ Thibodeau said. “We have to have an edge about us, and I don’t think we had that edge. That’s on me, I’ve got to have them ready to play.’’

Next up, however, is having them ready for the Monday news when they know exactly how long Rose will be gone.

There are two ways to fix the meniscus, with the first being shaving or removal, which results in a quicker rehab time. The second is reattachment, which could take as long as six months and cost Rose the remainder of the season.

According to the Rose camp, they will do whatever is best for Rose long-term, so the expectation is they will opt for reattachment. That means help might not be coming later in the season.

“[Thibodeau] wrote down what we need to do on a chalkboard,’’ reserve Taj Gibson said. “He basically said it doesn’t matter what the outside world says. He said we’ve been through a lot, achieved a lot. Even when backs were against the wall, we focused and we need to strive towards greatness. Nobody will give us a shot. We’re going to get hit. We have to keep going. That’s what happens in life.’’

Email: jcowley@suntimes.com



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