As worrisome as the state of Derrick Rose's back is to both the Bulls organization and fans alike, keep in mind that it could be worse.
The fact that a specialist confirmed, via general manager Gar Forman, that the Eastern Conference All-Star starter doesn't have any structural damage should be viewed as a huge positive.
While the injury has been lingering since early in the team's just-passed nine-game road trip and Rose's day-to-day status (as well as his admission about how much pain he was in) are concerning, but not as dire as a diagnosis that the reigning league MVP, at only 23 years old, is afflicted with an ailment could impede the progress of his already-stellar career.
That it's occurring now, as the Bulls are entering a home stand prior to the upcoming All-Star break, is also good fortune, as the arduous travel -- complete with late-night flights and sleeping in different hotel beds every other night -- in this condensed schedule can't be good for his present condition.
With the Bulls having a lofty 23-7 record at this point -- a win Tuesday night against Sacramento or a Miami loss will send head coach Tom Thibodeau and his staff to Orlando, joining Rose and teammate Luol Deng -- as well as a day between each home game and not exactly a gauntlet of elite teams on the slate, it's a perfect time for the point guard to rest.
Critics will say he could have sat out road contests at New Jersey and New Orleans, in which he played limited minutes, but let's not pretend Thibodeau or the front office held a gun to the head of Rose, a fierce competitor, and forced him to participate.
Along with starting backcourt partner Rip Hamilton, also ailing with a right-thigh injury -- not to mention the death of his grandmother, his family's matriarch -- Rose should take the time to properly heal and if he chooses to play in the All-Star Game, it should be a token appearance, which is almost guaranteed if Thibodeau is coaching him.
Either way, the combination of how the schedule breaks for the Bulls (though Thibodeau would argue that no games are easy in the NBA) and the long-term damage to his back is potentially minimal, Rose's current situation should be viewed as a blessing in disguise.
What's your opinion of the ongoing saga?