A gloomy week in Chicago ended with optimism Friday when Bulls general manager Gar Forman said the team expects Derrick Rose to be back in 4-6 weeks following successful surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
Forman said Rose, 26, is driven to get back on the court this season after the medial meniscus tear in his right knee was fixed in surgery for the second time since November 2013. Team physician Brian Cole performed the surgery Friday and Forman said Rose was immediately able to bear weight on his leg.
When the Bulls announced the injury earlier in the week, most suspected it was another season-ender.
Rose played in only 10 games last season and in the past the Bulls have been vague with timelines and recovery expectations with the former MVP.
This time, Forman said all signs lead to the optimistic outlook that Rose, who is averaging 18.4 points per game this season, will be on the court before the playoffs begin. If Rose requires the full six weeks of rehab, he would be ready to play April 11 and have three regular-season games to get ready for the postseason.
“The way it was explained to me there was a flap where the tear was, they went in and shaved it out, that portion was damaged, and that should relieve the pain,” Forman said.
Coach Tom Thibodeau, who has been guarded with injury information, was again preaching patience with Rose.
“We just got to be patient and just give him the time he needs to get through the rehab,” Thibodeau said.
Forman said Rose walked out of the hospital. Earlier this season, rookie first-round pick Doug McDermott had the same procedure and was back at practice in three weeks. McDermott, of course, does not have Rose’s injury history to overcome, or the emotional or mental hurdles that could come along with that.
Rose was cleared to practice in the final weeks of the 2012-13 season but chose not to take the court.
“If everything goes according to plan, then we’ll confident he’ll be back,” Forman said. “At that point, I guess there would be some disappointment. We’re going to take it step by step now the next several weeks trying to get him ready to go in April and into the postseason.”