FILE: Derrick Rose Out For Season
Updated: December 27, 2013 6:29AM
SALT LAKE CITY — At the start of the season, forward Luol Deng said the Bulls were special.
After the news Monday morning about guard Derrick Rose, terms such as heartbroken and bad luck were thrown around by an organization that likely has seen its championship aspirations come to an abrupt halt before Thanksgiving.
Rose will miss the rest of the season after successful surgery to repair the torn medial meniscus in his right knee. He suffered the injury in the third quarter of the loss Friday in Portland.
The only good news is that all the signs point to Rose being ready for next season.
That still doesn’t change the fact that he will have played less than one month of regular-season basketball in a 21/2-year span.
“Like Bulls fans everywhere, I was heartbroken when I heard of Derrick’s injury,’’ 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 regard 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.”
While the news felt like yet another kick in the gut for an organization that has had plenty of them since 2012, there was little surprise.
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 Rose underwent. That path requires at least a six-month recovery.
A source in the Rose camp insisted Saturday night that they were going to do whatever was best for Rose long-term.
“We got guys who are going to man up and play tough and play hard,’’ Deng said. “Sometimes with athletes in sports, luck has a lot to do with it. It’s just bad luck. It’s not going to change anything. He’s still going to be Derrick. He still is going to work hard and come back even better. I really believe that he was better coming back from that ACL. It’s unfortunate that it happened. I have no doubt he’s going to come back and play great.’’
Coach Tom Thibodeau, who spoke to Rose through text messages Monday afternoon, had the same attitude.
“He’s a great person first and foremost,’’ Thibodeau said. “In many ways, this was good news. It could have been a lot worse. We feel he’s going to make a full recovery. There’s disappointment because of the work he put into coming back, but I think that’s going to serve him well. He’s as mentally tough as they come. That’s all we want him to lock into, concentrate on the rehab. That’s it.
“The fact that he’s done it once, he’s got great mental toughness. He’ll be fine. This will be another bump in the road, and he will get past it.’’