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Derrick Rose out for the postseason with torn ACL

Derrick Rose  is helped off court after injuring his left knee final minutes Game 1 Eastern Conference first round

Derrick Rose is helped off the court after injuring his left knee in the final minutes of Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first round playoffs. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times

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Do you think Derrick Rose should have still been in the game when he was injured?

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Updated: April 29, 2012 11:13AM

Just when Derrick Rose was on the brink of alleviating fears that he would be unable to fully recover from a nagging ankle injury, he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, making an impressive playoff victory seem more like a loss and all but dashing the Bulls’ title hopes.

Rose landed awkwardly after a jump stop and fell to the floor with 80 seconds left in the Bulls’ 103-91 victory over the Philadelpha 76ers in Game 1 of their first-round NBA playoff series at the United Center. The team later announced that Rose had torn his ACL and will miss the rest of the postseason. It’s the sixth injury Rose has suffered this season.

“It’s the saddest win,” Kyle Korver said. “But we have to pick ourselves up. We’ve played a lot of games without him. Maybe it was just getting us ready for this.”

Rose sat out the regular-season finale and has played in only five games in the last six weeks because of a nagging right ankle injury. After shaking off a slow start in which he missed six of his first seven shots, he looked anything but rusty in finishing with 23 points, nine assists and nine rebounds in 37:13.

Sixers coach Doug Collins waved for Bulls’ trainers after Rose went down. Rose was writhing in pain and clutching his left knee before being helped off the court and into the locker room by trainer Fred Tedeschi and assistant trainer Jeff Tanaka.

Rose was taken to Rush University Medical Center, where an MRI exam revealed the ACL tear. He was told his recovery could take eight months, according to a source familiar with the situation, meaning he might not be able to return until January.

C.J. Watson will start Game 2 on Tuesday. The Bulls are 18-9 without Rose this season, including an 89-80 victory over the Sixers on March 17. Although the Bulls beat the Miami Heat without Rose and with him playing his worst game as a pro, advancing past the second-seeded foes will be a tall order without their best player.

“I know how bad he wants to be out there,” Joakim Noah said. “Regardless of what happens, we’re a capable group. We’ve been through this throughout the year. We can play ball without Derrick, as well.”

Bulls players defended Thibodeau’s decision to have Rose remain in the game late in the fourth quarter. The Sixers had cut a 20-point lead to 12 at the time.

“I don’t work backward like you guys do,” Thibodeau said. “The score was going the other way. He’s got to play.”

Rip Hamilton scored 19 points on 6-for-7 shooting, and Luol Deng had 17 points and six rebounds. Joakim Noah had 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Bulls, who outrebounded the Sixers 47-38 and had 11 more second-chance points.

Korver helped the Bulls pull away in the fourth quarter and finished with 11 points. Elton Brand led the Sixers with 19 points.

Rose missed 27 games this season with toe, back, groin, ankle and foot injuries, which is 21 more than he missed in his first three seasons combined.

“It sucks because he was just getting back,” Taj Gibson said. “He looked good in practice yesterday, and he was looking good in the game offensively and defensively. It was good to have our leader back.”

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