Everyone who wants to see Derrick Rose back on the basketball court will have to be very patient this year.
The star of the Chicago Bulls tore his ACL on April 28 in a playoff game against the Philadelphia 76ers. Since that point, the point guard has been working his tail off in order to return to his team.
Unfortunately, that point in time might be a long time away.
There is a wide range in the amount of time it takes to recover from an injury of this magnitude. Dr. Brian Cole examined Rose in May and said that he "could miss anywhere from eight to 12 months" (via NBC Chicago).
From his May 12th surgery, that would make mid-January the earliest possible time he could return to the court. However, a normal time frame would be closer to April or May, which would be the end of the season.
If Rose can come back at full strength by the All-Star break that would be great. However, missing the season would not be the worst thing to happen.
The former MVP has never been an elite shooter, so the reason he has been so successful is his ability to make cuts to get to the basket and use his athleticism to finish at the rim. Coming back too soon would not allow him to utilize his best attributes.
He currently admits that cutting is the thing holding his rehab back. Rose told Scott Gleeson of USA Today:
Right now cutting is the hardest thing in the world. I'm scared of it. Right when I think I get that down, I'll be pretty close. Hopefully, it won't take a whole year.
In addition, the time off gives him a good opportunity to round out his game. Former player Tim Hardaway had to deal with a similar injury early in his career. He told ESPN that Rose should become a better shooter after this ordeal.
His jump shot is going to come back a lot better than what it was. I'll tell you that. His jumpers and his free throw percentage is going to be up. I'm telling you. That's all you can do. You can't do anything else, but shoot around and just shoot free throws.
After missing the 1993-94 season, Hardaway's three-point percentage jumped from 33 percent to 37.8 percent.
Rose only recently turned 24 years old. Even without playing all year, he could come back at 100 percent when he's 25 with almost 6,000 career points and a number of awards under his belt. His injury still does not prevent him from being ahead of almost everyone else in the league as far as how successful he is for his age.
In addition, the key players on the roster will all still be there when he gets back. Luol Deng, Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer are all under contract until at least the summer of 2014. This Bulls team could be a serious contender for an NBA Championship before that time comes.
Many fans and analysts want to look at Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings as an example of someone who can come back from this injury quickly. The running back was injured in a game on December 24, 2011. He returned for the season opener on September 9, 2012.
However, that same injury is tougher to recover from in basketball. Both sports require cutting, but basketball requires consistent jumping. Although there is less contact, it is much easier to land awkwardly and re-injure yourself.
The possibility of further setbacks should be enough to convince everyone involved in the decision-making process to err on the side of caution.
Chicago fans will be waiting all season for the return of Derrick Rose. Adidas is already making commercials looking forward to the game when he comes back to save the day.
Instead, this only creates a false hope for the fans and an increased pressure on the star player. If he does not come back quickly, it will mean he obviously does not have the focus, push and drive that the commercial said he did.
Tearing an anterior cruciate ligament is no mild thing. Rose should take his time in his recovery and make sure he does everything right.
The league will still be there in 2013, waiting for the point guard to take over.
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