SALT LAKE CITY – Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose will miss the rest of the 2013-14 NBA season after undergoing what the team described as successful surgery Monday morning to repair the torn medial meniscus in his right knee.
That means Rose will have played in just 50 games over three NBA seasons. He missed all of last season after left knee surgery to repair a torn ACL. He battled through four separate injuries during the shortened lockout season in 2011-12.
"Sometimes with athletes in sports, luck has a lot to do with it," Luol Deng said. "It’s just bad luck. It’s not going to change anything. He’s still going to be Derrick. He still is going to work hard and come back even better. I really believe that he was better coming back from that ACL. It’s unfortunate that it happened. I have no doubt he’s going to come back and play great."
When Rose does return, he will do so to a substantially different Bulls team.
Knowing Rose was returning from left knee surgery, the Bulls kept their high-priced core of Rose, Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah intact for one final championship run this season.
Well over the luxury tax line, the Bulls face tough decisions regarding Deng, who is an unrestricted free agent next summer, and Boozer, a candidate for the amnesty provision.
The Bulls won a first-round playoff series without Rose last season with a gritty bunch that featured shot-creators Nate Robinson and Marco Belinelli. The Bulls' major offseason addition, Mike Dunleavy, is a space-the-floor shooter specifically designed to fit with Rose.
And now Rose is gone – again.
"That’s there," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "We can use that as an excuse if we choose. But no one is going to feel sorry for us. We’ve got enough in that room to get it done. So we’ve got to turn it around [Monday]. We’ve got to come out with and edge, we’ve got to be ready to play defense and rebound. That’s the way we’re going to win. We’re capable of doing that."
In a statement, Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said, “Like Bulls fans everywhere, I was heartbroken when I heard of Derrick’s injury. We are happy to know that, according to his doctors, his surgery was successful, and in time, Derrick is expected to make a full recovery.
"Everyone at the Bulls knows firsthand how extremely hard Derrick worked to return to the court this year, and I have no doubt he will do the same with regards to his recovery from this injury. Despite Derrick’s absence, this is still a good team. I know from last year, this team and coaching staff will continue to make our fans proud.”
Rose suffered the injury Friday night in Portland, Ore., on a non-contact play cutting to the basket.
The surgery was performed at Rush University Medical Center by Chicago Bulls head team physician Dr. Brian Cole and team physician Dr. Chuck Bush Joseph.