Derrick Rose and Chicago's Ten Most Injury Prone and Fragile Athletes

Derrick Rose and Chicago's Ten Most Injury Prone and Fragile Athletes
Derrick Rose's comeback lasted only ten games. He is the latest Chicago star athlete to have injury problems.

Derrick Rose's comeback lasted ten games. After sitting out all of the 2012-13 season, Rose injured the medial meniscus in his right knee 19 months after tearing the ACL in his left. Per Espn's Darren Rovell Rose has made $41 million in the last three seasons and played in only 50 games.

In Rose's first three NBA Seasons, he missed only five games total. In some ways his MVP seemed to be more of a curse than a blessing. He missed nine games in the lockout shortened 2011-12 season before tearing his ACL in game one of the opening round loss to Philadelphia. He is not from the the first Chicago athlete in to have a career hampered by injury.  There have been many others before him. Here are the ten most injury prone athletes in the history of Chicago sports.

Gale Sayers Sayers 1968 knee injury changed the course of his career. He would miss the rest of the '68 regular season. He came back in 1969 and led the NFL in rushing. He wasn't the same player though. After averaging 6.2 yards per carry in 1968, his YPC dropped to 4.4 in '69. Sayers was leading the NFL in rushing in '68 at the time of his injury. Fred Mitchell recounted the play that changed Sayers course of history at the time of Rose's 2012 ACL injury

“Sayers took a pitch out  from quarterback Virgil Carter. Sayers planted his right leg to make a cut on the turf, but 49ers cornerback Kermit Alexander lunged ahead at the leg to make the tackle. Sayers’ knee buckled"

It took the Bears almost a decade to recover. They never made the post season in the Sayers/Butkus era The Bears first playoff appearance was nine years after Sayer initial injury. His injury might be the most devastating in Chicago Sports History.

Jim McMahon The Bears run to the Super Bowl XX title in 1986 is possibly the most reverred in Chicago Sports History. To this day the superfans are still getting recognition. In his seven full seasons as the Bears starter, McMahon only played in 59 games. His best years were in Chicago. He was 46-15 as the Bears starter and 36-5 in his last five seasons as the Bears gridiron general.

Mike Brown Brown spent nine years patrolling the secondary as an astounding playmaker. He had an unbelievable knack for the football. His back to back interception return touchdowns in overtime in 2001 remain one of the most remarkable feats in Bear History.

He missed only one game in his first four years in the NFL before his injuries took a toll. Between 2004 and 2007, Brown missed an unthinkable 43 games with injuries. He returned to the Bears in 2008 and missed only one game. He signed with Kansas City the following season in what turned out to be his final year in the NFL. If not for injuries, Brown might have had a Hall of Fame career.

Mark Prior Big things were expected of Prior when he was the second pick in the 2001 MLB draft. The Twins selected Joe Mauer just ahead of Prior. At the time, the Twins were criticized for picking Mauer ahead of Prior. It was thought that they did so to save money. In the long run it was the right pick.

Prior's career with the Cubs got off to a blazing start. He reached the bigs a year after getting drafted. In his first full season he was the ace of the Cubs staff, He led the team with an 18-6 record and a 2.45 ERA and finished third in the Cy Young voting.  He was the Cubs pitcher when everything fell apart in the infamous Bartman game in game six of the NLCS against Florida.

After winning their first postseason series in 95 years, the Cubs seemed to be entering a new era. Baseball prospectus did an excellent job of examining pitcher overload. In a 2012 article titled raising aces, they spent the last half of the piece using Prior as an example. Prior's demise was combination of  the breakdown of arm and shoulder injuries and bad luck injuries. He was run over by Braves second baseman Marcus Giles in 2003 and hi t the arm by the Rockies Brad Hawpe two seasons later.

His 2004 and 2006 seasons did not begin until June. His 2004 debut was delayed due to an injured achilles tendon and two years later a strained shoulder was the culprit.

Prior was the pitcher who was labelled with having impeccable mechanics. Baseball prospectus said "

Prior was flawless by anyone with a pair of eyes and a slant toward player evaluation, with a delivery that encapsulated the visual representation of scout-speak favorites such as “smooth” and “effortless.”

BP later added that it was impossible to know what truly caused the premature end of Prior's career,

"Though we are left to guess at the root cause of his fragility, the sheer multitude of risk factors is nothing short of overwhelming. It leaves one wondering how Prior's pitching mechanics could possibly overshadow the usual suspects that are sitting right in front of us. Prior fell victim to virtually every known precursor, from extreme workloads during the injury nexus to traumatic collisions and injury cascades, yet the consensus view of his career is one of mechanical failure.

Kerry Wood Even after the disappointment of 2003, the Cubs future was bright. Wood was 25, Prior 22 and Carlos Zambrano 22. With those three, the Cubs had a rotation that was going to be the envy of baseball for years to come.

Wood's injury problems predated Prior joining the Cubs. After winning the National League Rookie of the Year in 1998, Wood missed the entire 1999 season with Tommy John surgery. When Wood had 20 strikeouts without a walk on May 6th, 1998, many thought we were seeing the second coming of Nolan Ryan or Roger Clemens. His injury woes began when he felt problems with his shoulder at the end of the '98 season.

Peter Gammons did a great job examining Wood's career when he retired on May 19, 2012. He made only 36 more starts after the 2003 season and had 15 disabled list stints, but never had more than 14 wins in a season.

Jake Peavy When the White Sox acquired Peavy at the 2009 trading deadline, the White Sox were coming off of a AL Central division title in 2008 and sat only a game back. He came to the White Sox two months after rejecting a trade to the White Sox. A day after rejecting the trade, Peavy hurt his ankle round third base ironically at Wrigley Field.

Just two years removed from a National League pitching triple crown, expectations were high when Ken Williams pulled off the blockbuster. He learned a few weeks later he had strained a tendon in his ankle. Peavy was still injured. Peavy came back in September and went 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA in three starts. Included were two shutouts of the Tigers.

After beginning the 2010 season 2-5 with a 6.05 ERA he won his next five starts with a 1.99 ERA. On July 6 he walked off the mound for the last time in the 2010 season. He would later need surgery on his latissimus dorsi muscle. He later had season ending surgery and would eventually become the first pitcher to ever come back from tendon surgery in his arm.

His road back in 2011 was limited by his recovery. Peavy only made 19 starts and had the worst season of his career. In Four seasons in Chicago, Peavy only made through one full season. At the time of his acquisition, he was expected to be a top of the rotation starter. He never lived up to that in Chicago.

Ronnie Lester A graduate of Dunbar High School, Lester was a star point guard from Chicago drafted 28 years before Derrick Rose. Lester was drafted tenth by Portland and subsequently traded to the Bulls for Kelvin Ransey and draft picks exchanged.

Injuries limited Lester to eight games as a rookie. Lester was with the Bulls for four seasons, he missed 137 games in those four years. His middle two seasons were productive. His best season was 1982. Lester put up 11.6 PPG, 4.8 APG and 1.1 SPG. He lasted two more seasons with the Bulls before leaving for the Lakers. He never played more than 65 games in a season after 1982 and played in only 59 games in two seasons in Los Angeles. Lester's career will always be full of what ifs.

Eric Daze Between 1996-2002, Daze was consistently one of the Blackhawks leading scorers. Back injuries began to pop up in the 2003 season. After playing in all 82 games in 2003, Daze was limited to 54 games the following season. In is last three seasons, (2003, 2004 and 2006, {the 2005 season was cancelled because of a lockout}) Daze would play only 82 games. He had three herniated disc surgeries in a five year span. Even with the 2005 season off, Daze was unable to return, he played in just one game in 2006 and was never able to overcome his injuries.

Bobby Orr Orr was a superstar when he signed a five year $3 million contract to be paid over 30 years. Orr played in only 36 games over three seasons, he missed the entire 1977-78 season. He signed with the Blackhawks with severe knee injuries. He had 12 knee surgeries during his career. He would only have 11 goals in 45 points during his Blackhawks career.
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