Seeing an athlete fall to an injury is always a moment wrought with agony. For the actual player, the agony is both physical and emotional. For spectators, there is dread and disappointment, especially when the player in question is a key contributor.
Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls was more than just a key contributor. He’s the star, and the only one to have given the fabled Chicago squad, and a city so used to winning, a source of raw excitement ever since No.23 left town.
Sure, you could make an argument for Jay Williams, the Duke standout picked second in the 2002 draft. But he made the silly decision of falling off his motorcycle that cut short his Chicago stint quite ingloriously.
Imagine the terror felt then by Chi-town fans when Rose, whose scoring small-man game is comparable to that of Williams’, crumbled in a heap in the latter stages of the Bulls' Game 1 encounter against the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the 2012 Playoffs. With the Bulls leading by 12 with under a minute left, Rose hopped away from his defender in what appeared to be an attempt to shoot one of his patented lane runners, he then lands awkwardly and the next thing we see is him lying on the floor in clear pain.
He had torn his left ACL, and would be out for the next eight to 12 months.
Today, we are coming to the tail end of those eight to 12 months, and Rose’s recovery has been on pace with no significant setbacks. In this NBA.com blog entry, teammate Taj Gibson talks about Rose’s return to on-court drills:
“He’s in drills every morning with me. Every morning, going full steam. It just feels like he never left. He’s doing everything that he’d normally do. It’s been great the last couple weeks.”
In the same report, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said that Rose has handled the drills where there is “predictable contact” well. The next step, he says, is regular practice, but is quick to note that everyone has to remain patient.
While there remains no definite date for Rose’s return, the Bulls’ timetable has him pegged for a late February/late March debut.
The Bulls, currently just three games behind Eastern Conference leader Miami, will most likely be a more legitimate threat to Lebron and Co. if Rose can swiftly return to his methods.
In the meantime, fans can make the wait fun with this meme-of-the-moment “Peekaboo Derrick Rose,” which uses an image of the star taken after his team’s big win against Miami a few weeks ago.
Or, take a look back at the signature Rose shoes that Rose never got to wear, the D-Rose 3, which you can drool over on the next page.
NEXT: Sneaker porn, up ahead
DERRICK ROSE PHOTO FROM NBA.COM
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