A source said the hourlong surgery on Derrick Rose’s left knee was free of complications and surprises. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times
Updated: June 14, 2012 8:29AM
Bulls guard Derrick Rose underwent surgery to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee Saturday morning at Rush University Medical Center.
Brian Cole, the Bulls’ team physician, performed the surgery using an autograft from Rose’s patellar tendon, a commonly used procedure on young athletes. Rose also received a platelet-rich plasma, which helps stimulate and speed healing.
A source said there were no complications or surprises during the surgery, which lasted about an hour.
“His knee looked great,” the source said. “It’s what you’d expect from a 23-year-old physical specimen.”
Rose underwent a “pre-hab” routine that involved allowing the fluid and swelling to recede before he underwent surgery. Rose also did rehabilitation exercises before surgery that doctors hoped would allow him to recover from surgery sooner.
The usual recovery time for someone undergoing ACL surgery is 6-9 months. The Sun-Times has learned that Rose was told to expect an eight-month rehabilitation, which would allow him to return to the Bulls in late December or early January. However, Rose has been told that he could be back playing basketball within four to five months, although not at the elite level required in the NBA.
The ACL tear was the fifth injury Rose suffered during a season that saw the MVP point guard miss 27 regular-season games because of toe, back, groin and ankle/foot injuries.
“Disappointed for him,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said when asked what emotions Rose’s injuries spurred in him. “You guys who have been around him, you know the type of guy he is. He’s a fierce competitor. We expect him to approach his rehab the same way he approaches everything else and fully recover and be able to contribute next year.”
Rose averaged 21.8 points and 7.9 assists in 39 games.
Rose has speculated that the league’s lockout-condensed schedule might have contributed to the injuries, which were uncharacteristic considering he missed seven games in his first three seasons combined.
“I don’t think it’s related at all,” NBA commissioner David Stern said April 30 when asked about Rose’s injury being a result of a lockout-shortened season. “Zero. When anything happens, [second-guessing is] going to happen. But I was just reading something from a doctor who said that he just doesn’t believe it.”
Stern seemed to soften his stance a few days later after several other players were injured during the playoffs.
“I don’t know,” Stern told Jim Rome on CBS Sports Network on Tuesday. “As I was reading about it this morning, I think there’s some part of it that may be related to that. Some part of it is luck. Some part of it is lack of preparedness by our players before the season began. It’s a combination of things.”