In Rose we have to trust
I'm trying to find a silver lining. If Derrick Rose believes God does things for a reason, then what is the lesson here? Only Rose can answer that, but I have a few ideas of my own. Surely you can make all kinds of connections between Rose's injury-plagued season and the shortened NBA schedule, managing his minutes properly, and just the sheer nature of his game. But this isn't about blame, it's about getting it right for the future, and that responsibility will fall largely on Rose who needs to take this devastating setback to learn how to come back stronger, better.
It will take patience and it will take trust.
Dr. Michael Terry at the Northwestern University Department of Orthopedic Surgery told Comcast Sportsnet that once Rose's rehab is complete, it will still take him a while to fully trust his knee again. Trust it will do what he wants it to do or expects it do, and we will have to trust Rose: trust him to manage his health, listen to his body, and be smart in securing the longevity of his career.
There is nothing wrong, in and of itself, of being competitive and wanting to go all out, giving the game everything you've got and always wanting to win. This way of thinking is in the blood that courses through Derrick Rose's veins, and coach Tom Thibodeau's too,for that matter. But managing that drive is equally as important.
I'm not suggesting that Rose has to completely change his game or change the way he plays. I'm saying he needs to manage his intensity better.
On a much different level and much smaller scale, I can relate.
Pre-marriage and motherhood, I raced Ironman triathlons. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's an endurance race of 140.6 miles broken down like this: 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and a 26.2 mile run. It was a hobby, but I was obsessed with it. I over-trained and under-recovered until one day I snapped my right Achilles tendon. Different injury than an ACL tear, but the recovery time on a torn Achilles is actually longer. You can't even start running for at least 9 months.
In my stubborn, overly competitive spirit, I was determined to get back to racing as soon as possible. I willed my way through rehab and within 16 months I was racing Ironman Wisconsin. I barely finished the race, so I hopped in Ironman Florida two months later and had a better showing. Both were stupid ideas.
I rushed my recovery and raced on a weak right leg that was not prepared to handle the stress I was putting it under. The entire left side of my body paid a price because of compensation. Needless to say, that was my last Ironman race. Since then, I have had one injury after the other to my left foot, left ankle, left knee, left IT band and left hip.
I implore Rose to not rush his recovery for the sake of getting back onto the court as quickly as possible. Any weaknesses can trigger a whole host of problems. He may be able to come back mid-way through next season, or he may miss the entire campaign. This is one time Rose has to set aside will and determination and defer to smarts, common sense and trust.
He will have to trust in the expert advisors who will guide his rehab and strengthen his body.
He will have to trust what his body is telling him.
He will have to trust whether or not he should tape his ankles or wear the special ankle braces Adidas made for him.
He will have to trust that his coach will manage his minutes properly and if not, speak up.
He will have to trust that backing off in games does not mean he's dogging it.
He will have to trust himself to know when to dial it down and when to ramp it up.
The future of his career depends on all of this. How he handles his rehab and recovery will tell us if he's learned anything from this and if he's serious about preserving his career.
All we can do is trust.