Derrick Rose surgery details emerge

The Chicago Bulls held a press conference on May 15th where Dr. Cole discussed the details of Derrick Rose's successful knee surgery.

You can see the full press conference for yourself on here.

Here's the highlights of the video, everything should be viewed as a paraphrase of what Dr. Cole said rather than direct quotes unless otherwise noted as my opinion.

What was torn
His ACL (duh)
Not his MCL
Two minor meniscus tears: a medial meniscus tear which was fixed and did not require any removal of meniscal tissue and a slight outer meniscus tear which was termed irrelevant.

Why was the surgery delayed

The initial goal with prehab (pre surgery rehabilitation) is to minimize swelling and get motion back. Derrick Rose had so much attention to his knee after injurying it that his prehab went exceptionally well and the swelling was low and motion was good.

This allowed him to get the surgery earlier than a normal person likely would have been able to do.

Cause of the injury

The believe is that it's most likely a completely random event. Most of the time that's what it is. It's possible that it's related to conditioning, but we'll never know for sure and the most likely cause is bad luck.

Dr. Cole specifically discussed the idea that other injuries were at the cause of this one and dismissed it, saying it doesn't necessarily work that way, and it's more complicated than that.


It will take eight months to a year before Derrick Rose see the court and longer before he's able to play at a pre-injury level. Connecting the neural pathways so the brain is in tune with surgically repaired knee takes the longest.

Some players can come back sooner than that time line and some later depending on their progress. The goal is to bring him back expeditiously, but safely. Derrick must go through various progressions in order to return to the court.

Age definitely works in his favor in terms of recovery.

Long term effects

It's impossible to predict for sure, but statistically he's most likely to be the same player that he was and make a full recovery and return to the same level of explosiveness.

His chance of re-injury in the knee is very low. It's actually more common for the sufferer of an ACL tear to tear the ACL in the other knee rather than to re-tear the ACL in the repaired knee.

Filed under: Players

Tags: acl, chicago bulls, derrick rose


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  • This part bothered me the most.

    "Dr. Cole specifically discussed the idea that other injuries were at the cause of this one and dismissed it, saying it doesn't necessarily work that way, and it's more complicated than that."

    When I heard him dismiss it, I'll be honest, it made me trust him a little less. Intuitively from an engineering/physics standpoint, and based on what that other doctor stated in that podcast with Sarah Spain, it makes total sense that his ACL was related to his other injuries and perhaps all started with his toe injury.

    People praise the Suns training staff all the time, and it's likely that their approach is more of a full body, holistic, preventative approach that doesn't necessarily vibe with the mainstream methods and mindsets that Dr. Cole likely has. Although Dr. Cole has all of the credentials anyone can ask for, I'd love if Rose got multiple opinions on the matter.

  • In reply to HINrichPolice:

    I think it's just being cautious with terminology. If your normal chance to injure an ACL in a season is 2% (pulling numbers out of the air here) and maybe have certain injuries raises that to 4%, then obviously having an injury can make it more likely to do your ACL, but it's still pretty unlikely, which is why doctors don't want to say A causes B. I mean even if it increases the odds, you can't say for sure it wouldn't have happened if he didn't have the other injuries, and most players who have the other injuries don't do an ACL, so saying anything was the "cause" is a bit strong.

  • Still blame the bulls as they played fast and lose with their players injuries all season no surprise it came back to bite them hard at the end of the season. Even Dr. Cole couldn't rule out the possibility of Rose's other injuries being the cause or more likely contributing to his ACL tear. Bulls need to take a long hard look at their injury management this offseason.

  • The problem with injuries is that the body automatically tries to compensate for the injury, which leads to unnatural positioning, which has a tendency to cause more injuries! That is just the way it works.

    So, if a player with an injury plays with it, or even works out with it, the probability of additional injury increases. But what exactly are the probabilities? That is hard to say, in fact, likely impossible to put a on it.

    Looking at the replay of the torn ACL, it's surprising that it happened. That is, it was not obvious or expected. Noah rolling his ankle was different. When we saw the replay, we all knew it was trouble.

    The future: the Bulls FO needs patience, so do the fans. It will take time to heal Rose and time, plus talent evaluation, to fix the roster. The lack of patience that lead to the Boozer signing had a cascading effect, just like one injury can lead to another.

    If the Bulls had kept Hinrick and not signed Boozer, they could have gotten Carmel Anthony. (Mr Happy was actually right on that one.) They need another superstar, not just another starter. Mirotic will likely be that guy, but not until the fall of 2014. The most important thing now is caution with sound judging of talent.

    The Bulls have a solid foundation. But mgmt weakened the team with ill-advised signings, and by failing to pick up some solid 2nd tier players who became available. If this doesn't improve, it may be time for a change in the FO.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    I agree with most of your points. However, I don't remember the exact timeline of when Carmelo was traded and when Hinrich was traded, but I think the way you said it was a little misleading. Hinrich was traded to free up more cap room so they could sign two big (max or almost max) free agents (i.e. the Big 3, Joe Johnson, etc.) All of those guys signed elsewhere so Boozer was the best piece left on the table. Carmelo was already in NY by the time the free agency fiasco went down. I don't think you can link the two together.

  • In reply to NateTags:

    My bad, I got the dates mixed up. Hinrich was traded and Boozer signed before Melo went to NY. Unless you were insinuating that Hinrich could have been used in a trade for Carmelo, still not sure where you were going though. Carmelo wasn't even really available until after the summer of 2010 when the whole free agency extravaganza went down.

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    In reply to NateTags:

    Well let me add that wade they we're hoping to get you don't want melo he don't fit have u watched his shot selection and weak d but mostly his dribble dribble fall away 18 footer. Boozer was a stud before we got him smart good d good pick and pop player amd good for a team but he is a bust since he came over reality he is worth 8-10 million a year tops

  • In reply to NateTags:

    "Hinrich was traded to free up more cap room so they could sign two big (max or almost max) free agents (i.e. the Big 3, Joe Johnson, etc.)"

    Correct. But the reason for this is simple: the Bulls FO was played by D Wade, perhaps under coaching by Pat Riley. After all, the Bulls were going to be the Heat's biggest rival, so why not try to weaken them. Stall them, invite them into mistakes. Unfortunately, that worked! Hinrich had value, and the Bulls gave him and a draft pick away for nothing. He could have been a chip for future bargaining.

    "All of those guys signed elsewhere so Boozer was the best piece left on the table."

    Correct again. But there is one thing worse that making a low offer and not getting a guy, and that is making a high, risky offer and getting the guy! The FO way overpaid for Boozer, with too long a contract, perhaps out of desperation. Big mistake!

    My point was simply that the Boozer signing hindered the Bulls from considering Carmelo, tho that trade actually could have happened anyway. Denver wanted Noah big time. Some said Carmelo would have considered Chicago because he wanted a title. It could have worked, but the FO overvalued Noah as they did other players years earlier. Two superstars make the road to a championship a lot easier.

    As for Hinrich, I do not know where he might have gone, but getting rid of him limited options. Like years ago when they signed Wallace, then gave away Chandler, who it turned out they might have been able to use to grab Garnett or Gasol. It is just a matter of playing your cards wisely.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    huh? who are you talking about? who could they have gotten that they didn't? Unless NY signed Boozer too, Melo was going to NY. He wasn't coming to the bulls.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    The 2nd-tier guys who became available were the guys who came back from China this year and were picked up by playoff teams and helped their new teams. The Bulls could not afford any of these players because they were at the cap limit. Also a few players that were released became available, but that was the same deal.

    My main point in all of this was that a sense of desperation and a lack of patience at losing LeBron, etc, cost and has continued to cost the Bulls. Don't make the same mistakes again. Be patient and smart and judge talent wisely!

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Melo wanted to go to NY. End of discussion really, doesn't matter what the Bulls could have or should have given up to get him if he didn't want to sign with them.

    Expecting Mirotic to be a superstar is setting yourself up for disappointment. There's nothing in what he's doing in Europe to suggest it. If he can be as good as Gallinari in the NBA I'd be really happy since that's a great result from a late first round pick.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Ill-advised signings? Who? I get that you don't like Boozer, but he's largely lived up to expectations. If you though he'd be better in Chicago than he was in Utah, I don't know what to tell you. Other than that, what signing has been ill-advised?

  • In reply to kozzer:

    1) Actually, one signing like Boozer can tie up a team for years, and that is what has happened. Last year was a joke. First, he hurt himself in the off season. Then he was hurt in the playoffs and did little in crunch time, especially against Miami.
    What was he this year in the last game, 1 for 10?
    All of that was bad enough, but his huge contract prevented and prevents other moves.
    Boozer had some good games for the Bulls, but not much in crucial spots in the playoffs. Why do you think he's on the bench in the 4th quarter?
    I am not blaming Boozer, he is what he was, but I do not think he has "lived up to expectations." But the FO could have gotten more for less, or a stronger player, if they had been patient.
    2) Ditto Hamilton. $5 million this year, $5 million next. That's an MLE they could have had. Obviously far less constricting than Boozer tho.

  • In reply to kozzer:

    I am not sure whose expectations you think that he has largely lived up to.

    We signed him thinking we were getting 20 & 10 every night, we got it about once a month.

    In Utah he averaged well over 20 with about 12 rebounds in the playoffs, in 2 season we got 12-13 points and 8-9 rebounds.

    and I don't think that anybody knew we were getting the worst defensive power forward in the history of basketball, especially one who can't be bothered to even try to play defense.

    For $75 million it is reasonable to expect significantly more than that.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    He's largely lived up to mine.

    I knew his defense was bad when we signed him, he's about as advertised on that end. He lacks lateral speed and can't jump, I have no idea why some people thought coaching could turn him into a good defender.

    I knew he could rebound when we signed him, he's largely maintained his rebounding rate, with only a slight drop off due to playing with better rebounders.

    I knew he could hit the mid range shot, he's been good as advertised in the pick and pop.

    I knew he wasn't a dominant low post scorer like some people thought he was, and true to form trying to feed him in the low post is largely a waste of possessions as it results in too many turnovers for the points it produces.

    The only thing I'm disappointed in is his ability on the pick and roll, he never attacks the basket hard any more so he's not getting easy points there or getting to the foul line. All he wants to do these days is pick and pop. Not sure if it's just because his already limited athleticism is gone, or because the Bulls don't want to use him that way, but without the hard roll to the basket he's nowhere near the offensive threat he used to be and it's killing his efficiency.

    Of course I had fairly low expectations coming in and thought he was a bad signing (not sure the alternative David Lee was hugely better, but at least he's younger and cheaper), so take that I think he's largely lived up to expectations for what it's worth.

  • I also listened to that Sarah Spain interview with the doctor talking about Derrick's series of injuries. It was mentioned that Derrick said in an interview that he has been unable to move his big toe for two years. The doctor pointed out that this is something that should be addressed by doctors NOW while he is shut down and healing from his MCL surgery. He said he might have ligament damage or bone spurs in his toe that is affecting it's movement. I'm afraid that if this is not addressed now he maybe susceptible to injury again. An immobile toe is not natural is maybe the root of all his other injuries.

  • HINrichPolice, Chad, rustyw, GoBulls, I agree with you 100%.
    I have been one of the most vocal critics on this blog warning long before the injuries about the excessive minutes loaded onto Rose and Deng and for what purpose - to win another meaningless regular season championship. The minutes and playing injured are the same issue - a lack of understanding the complexity of elite athletes physical well-being.

    The Phoenix Suns would never have let Rose return to get re-injured 3 separate times in April alone. They would have properly dealt with Rose's injury when he hurt his toe early in the season. How much of this blame goes to Gar/Pax, the training staff, and Thibs the Butcher is speculation on us fans part. But many of us knew a different approach needed to be taken and saw problems in the making long before the injuries began mounting. As a direct result of Bulls/Thibs misguided practice both this season and the next are wasted.

    Best plan going forward would be resting Rose the entire 2012-13 season and tanking for a high draft pick. That would make sense as Bulls have limited means of acquiring top tier talent to accompany Rose in 2013-14, so of course the Bulls and Thibs won't do it and will likely slog through the season to a low playoff seed, another 1st round playoff exit, and a non-lottery draft pick.

  • While I'd agree that not playing Rose and tanking for a draft pick next year makes the most sense, all of the "It's the bulls fault he got injured" is nonsense. I don't see anybody blaming Rose for trying to make a ridiculous jump-stop pass play when the bulls were up 10 with a minute to play. That would be just as silly. Rose needed to be in at the end of the game. All other arguments are 20-20 hindsight bullsh*t.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    I totally agree. Sometimes though I wonder how much these re-occuring injury situations are actually the players faults (not saying that the acl is Derrick's fault).

    Most players are competitors and probably lie about how healthy they actually are after an injury just so they can go out there and play. For example, we all know that Noah was cleared to go back into game 3 after hurting his ankle, but I wonder how much that clearance was based on him telling them he felt good enough to go back in. Then players go in when they shouldn't and re-injure themselves or have an another injury due to overcompensating for the initial one that wasn't totally healed.

  • Does anyone think we have a chance of winning a championship next year? If not, mebbe my crazy retooling idea isn't that crazy.


    "The belief is that it's most likely a completely random event. Most of the time that's what it is. It's possible that it's related to conditioning, but we'll never know for sure and the most likely cause is bad luck."

    Was it inevitable? If Rose sat when the Bulls were up by 20, was he destined to tear his ACL in Game 2, 3, 4...? Sports analysts have suggested the injury was inevitable. Is there any truth to that statement?

  • In reply to Jmax:

    Very good question. My best guess is that it probably was inevitable, but I guess there's no way to know for sure. I also wonder if Derrick's off season workout regimen had anything to do with this season's injuries or if it was all a result of the recurring toe issue that he's had for years. Before the season, he mentioned that he was running a lot more in the off season to improve his conditioning so he didn't run out of steam in the playoffs again.

  • I have a trade how about Boozer, Brewer and Watson, Bobcats 2016 to Toronto for DeRozan, Bargnani, Calderon and Toronto's 2012 First round pick.

    Rose Calderon
    DeRozan/ Rip
    Deng/ Butler
    Taj/ Bargnani
    Noah/ Omer

  • In reply to SoulEater7:

    Maybe they draft Austin Rivers.

  • Suggesting that Rose should skip the entire 2012-13 season just to be safe is something reasonable to debate.

    I am puzzled by how many of you also suggest that the Bulls should tank next season to get a high lottery pick.

    How exactly do they tank that badly with the remaining talent that they have minus Rose.

    Worst case Deng will be back by the new year, likely sooner, so how bad can the Bulls really be, a .500 team would seem to be the absolute bottom. That is not getting you a high lottery pick, it might still get you an 8 seed and out of the lottery altogether.

    Rose may or may not make it back for the 2012-13 season(I think that he will some time after the allstar break), but the Bulls will not even consider tanking, even though it is not a realistic possibility anyway.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I don't think the word "tank" is in Thibs vocabulary!

  • In reply to NateTags:

    I think Thibs would quit if management asked him to tank. And so he should, he just got 1st and 2nd in coach of the year voting, he can get a job anywhere right now, why would he ruin his resume by deliberately laying down for a season?

  • Expediently? Expeditiously?

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  • Hey Doug-

    Have you considered converting the in the interim from a solely bulls focused blog to a NBA playoff blog. I realize the Bulls are out of it, but perhaps you can discuss the rest of the league. There are some compelling games going on.

    just a suggestion

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