Derrick Rose has once again found himself on the shelf. This time, Rose tore his right medial meniscus during a Bulls practice in February.
He has since undergone successful surgery and has not been completely ruled out for a late-season return.
As fans may recall, this isn’t the first time that Rose has found himself missing time due to injury.
Back in the 2011-12 season, during a playoff game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Rose’s right ACL was torn. He went on to miss the rest of the playoffs and all of the 2012-13 season.
After spending more than a calendar year away from competitive basketball, Rose returned to the floor for the 2013-14 season. He played through a rough start, only to have his season cut short again, by way of a torn right meniscus.
Rose has dealt with a number of lingering injuries, including complications with his shoulder, ankle and back. But his series of major knee injuries call into serious question his ability to ever again dominate on the basketball court.
What made Rose as dominant as he was at his peak was the fact that he plays with a fearless and reckless style. But in the classic give-and-take scenario, Rose’s style leaves him susceptible to injury.
JJC catcher TJ Condon praised Rose for his style and commitment to game.
“I’ve never seen a player have so much explosion,” said Condon. “I think his extreme play has something to do with (his injuries).”
Condon also feels, from what he understands as an athlete that Rose has to be careful.
“It’s true, you can’t wear yourself out,” said Condon. “They run miles per game on the basketball court. It takes a toll out on you, so he just needs to understand his limits. But I can completely understand if he refuses to take plays off.”
Le’royia Campbell, sophomore forward for the Lady Wolves, who dealt with a serious foot injury of her own a season ago, knows the difficulty of coming back from an injury.
“It’s pretty tough,” Campbell said. “But I made it through with the help I got from my friends and family.”
Rose has received plenty of support over the past three, injury-plagued seasons, along with plenty of vitriol and impatience. The fact may very well be though that Rose’s career as a dominant, go-to scorer is over.
Like Tracy McGrady, Grant Hill and Penny Hardaway before him, Rose’s peak may have been prematurely cut down.
The question though is: Can Rose reinvent himself and accept his limitations?
A role player may have little to no difficulty doing that. A star player however, someone who is used to being the go-to, first option on a team, is not going to nearly as easy a time putting aside their ego and the memory of their once-dominant abilities.
Rose is tentatively scheduled to return at the end of the season, just in time for the Bulls’ playoff run. But what Rose will come back, and how helpful can he be?
Joel served seven years in the U.S. Coast Guard (2005-2012) and wrote sports columns for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times in Texas from April 2009 to October 2014.