Cubs

Prognosis rosy for Bulls' superstar after surgery?

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Prognosis rosy for Bulls' superstar after surgery?

While the subject of Tuesday afternoons press conference at Rush University Medical Center wasnt present, those who spoke on his behalf assured the assembled media that Derrick Rose was indeed making progress four days after his surgery to repair his torn left anterior cruciate ligament.

Derrick is doing great, said Dr. Brian Cole, the Bulls team physican and the man who performed Saturday mornings procedure on Rose, along with his partner, a team physician for the White Sox. The surgery went extremely well. Really, no surprises.

He had an isolated ACL tear and he had a medial meniscal tear that we fixed, and he had a small outer meniscal tear that we trimmed and should be of no significant consequence, he continued, noting that Rose has been diligently following post-surgery instructions. At this point, were very optimistic. If you think back to where we were 20 or 30 years ago, this was clearly a career-ending injury and were at least able to say now that were doing a whole lot better than we were then.

Well do everything possible to get him back safely and expeditiously, and in an appropriate time-frame and at a point that we think that hes at the lowest point of occurring any re-injury, and at the time, we think his performance will be a level we think will be consistent with whats needed to play professional basketball.

Cole confirmed the previously reported recovery timeline of eight to 12 months for an athlete of this caliber, but can vary depending on when Rose meets progressive objective parameters. Roses rehabilitation will also incorporate a lot of risk prevention and even after full recovery, it may take slightly longer for him to be at his pre-injury level, according to Cole.

Saturdays procedure consisted of one incision, which will eventually heal, to the ligament the ACL connects the femur to the tibia, Cole explained to harvest a patellar tendon autograft and then was done arthroscopically, through a camera and small holes. No incisions were done while repairing Roses meniscal tear.

Its impossible to predict tomorrow, Cole acknowledged, when whether Rose would fully regain his trademark explosiveness. Statistically, he should be that player and then some. That doesnt mean its guaranteed.

The ligament is one thing giving him a new ligament and the meniscus is another, he continued. Getting his brain connected to his knee basically, thats probably the longest amount of time required, for that purpose, to really get everything connected again and sort of hard-wired from a neurological point of view.

Cole also discussed the fact that Roses injury was a freak accident, not something symptomatic of previous issues, in line with the widely-held theory that the lockout-shortened NBA regular-season schedule is responsible for the rash of injuries around the league.

This could be anything from a completely random event which, in a non-contact injury, most of the time thats what it is to maybe conditioning, but well never know with certainty. My feeling is, its more likely than not, a very random event, he said.

The good news with him is he didnt tear his medial collateral ligament, the other ligament, which made his pre-rehabiliatation process go much smoother. Thats why he has a very expedited recovery because the amount of injury to the knee was minimal enough that it allowed us to get to him when we felt it was fit, but I dont think well ever have a perfect explanation.

Cole and Bulls head trainer Fred Tedeschi, who was also present at the press conference, along with team general manager Gar Forman, admitted they hadnt discussed Roses whereabouts during the recovery process the All-Star point guard typically spends his summers in California but vowed that the organization would be heavily involved.

Right now hes in Chicago and will rehab at Rush, said Cole, who is a professor at the hospital and a member of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush. We havent worked out all the details, but well be on top of him.

Added Tedeschi: Were not entirely settled on geography at this point, but just know that wherever he is and whatever hes doing, hes going to have the best people involved and my role with the Bulls is to coordinate his care and obviously be a part of it as a practitioner.

One concern following Roses injury was why it took so long for him to have surgery, as a two-week period of time went by after he suffered the tear, in Game 1 of the Bulls first-round playoff series with Philadelphia.

Weve learned so much about preparing a patient for ACL surgery. The goals initially are to get motion back, minimize the swelling, have him walk with a normal gait, be able to activate his quadriceps, get some single-leg activity, really to get him functioning as normally as possible and making sure his motion is perfect, and we met all those objectives, explained Cole, who noted that the MRI on Roses knee is exactly what he saw during surgery, which doesnt always occur, as well as the fact that Roses meniscal tear occurs frequently to people who suffer ACL injuries. People were asking, why not do the surgery the next day? The appropriate thing is to wait for the knee to tell you when its ready.

Re-injury is actually more common in a patient who has torn their ACL in their other knee, but youre still talking a very low percentage, continued Cole, who confirmed the reported use of PRP in Roses surgery, which could potentially supercharge the healing process. We know how to reduce the risk, but we dont know how to eliminate it and thats still the remaining challenge with ACL injuries.

We do everything possible, with the things that we can control, to stimulate healing and the best thing about it is hes 23 and has outstanding healing potential.

Cubs aren’t trading Yu Darvish this winter, despite reported inquiries

Cubs aren’t trading Yu Darvish this winter, despite reported inquiries

Whether the Cubs trade a member of their position player core this winter — i.e. Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras — is to be determined. Both have been fixtures in rumors this offseason, and the Cubs may make a deal to replenish their barren farm system and retool their roster with the organization’s long-term stability in mind.

Yu Darvish, on the other hand, is a different story.

No, the Cubs won’t be trading Darvish this winter, despite the inquiries they received at the Winter Meetings this week, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

A year ago, this would be an entirely different conversation. Darvish was coming off a disappointing debut season on the North Side in which he made eight starts and posted a 4.95 ERA in 40 innings. He didn’t throw a single big-league pitch after May 20 due to a lingering arm issue that led to surgery last November.

2019 was only Year 2 of the lucrative six-year contract Darvish signed in February 2018. But between the injury and his struggles before it that season, the narrative entering 2019 was shifting towards Darvish being a potential bust.

The narrative around Darvish is obviously much different now, thanks to the stellar second half performance he put together last season. In 13 starts, the 33-year-old delivered a 2.76 ERA, striking out 118 batters compared to a mere seven walks in 81 2/3 innings.

Not only was Darvish walking the walk, but he was talking the talk. He was determined to turn things around after posting a 5.01 ERA in the first half, asking then manager Joe Maddon to start the Cubs’ first game after the All-Star break. The result? Six innings of two-hit, no-run ball with eight strikeouts and one walk. Darvish's comeback was officially on.

Bust? Darvish is far from it now. He opted in to the remaining four years of his contract earlier this offseason, calling the Cubs "perfect" for him.

If the Cubs were entering a rebuild, fielding Darvish trade offers would make plenty of sense. He's owed $81 million through 2023, a bargain compared to the deals Gerrit Cole (nine years, $324 million — Yankees) and Stephen Strasburg (seven years, $245 million — Nationals) earned this offseason. Darvish's contract is desirable, and trading him would help alleviate the Cubs' notoriously tight payroll situation, freeing up money for them to put towards other needs.

But the Cubs aren’t rebuilding, and trading Darvish would create a tremendous hole in a rotation with plenty of uncertainty after next season. José Quintana is set to hit free agency after 2020 and Jon Lester could join him, if his 2021 option doesn’t vest (he must pitch 200 innings next season for that to occur). Heck, even Tyler Chatwood's deal is up after 2020.

In one season, Darvish has elevated himself to the No. 1 pitcher in the Cubs rotation. The Cubs won't be better next season if they trade Bryant or Contreras, but they'd still be competitive and acquire assets for the future.

One player doesn't make a team in baseball, but the Cubs need Darvish in their rotation, not someone else's. Unless they're absolutely blown away by a trade offer, Darvish isn't going anywhere.

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Bears QB Big Board, 6.0: It's Mitch Trubisky's job to lose

Bears QB Big Board, 6.0: It's Mitch Trubisky's job to lose

Just when it appeared like Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky was entering his final half-season as the team's unquestioned starting quarterback, the last month happened.

Trubisky's play has steadily improved over the last five games and reached what may have been his watermark moment in Week 14 against the Cowboys. He completed 74% of his passes for 244 yards and three passing touchdowns while adding a season-high 63 rushing yards and a score on the ground. It marked the second week in a row that Trubisky's completed over 74% of his passes; he connected on 76% of his throws a week earlier against the Lions.

Trubisky's recent success is a far cry from the mentally broken player he was after the first month of the season. He has his confidence back. In fact, he's playing with more confidence than he's ever shown as a pro. His recent success is a direct and obvious result of his evolution between the ears.

The Bears were circled as a team that was likely to be in the quarterback market this offseason because of how terrible Trubisky looked early in 2019. And there's still a chance that GM Ryan Pace will look to add some healthy competition to the roster, but if Trubisky continues to play well, that competition will be for the backup job. 

It's also worth noting that one of the more appealing quarterback targets this offseason probably won't make it to the open market. Titans starter Ryan Tannehill continues to enjoy a remarkable comeback season and appears destined to sign a long-term extension with Tennessee sooner than later. After Tannehill, the discount quarterback rack includes names like Andy Dalton and Marcus Mariota, players who a month ago would've been viewed as marked upgrades over Trubisky.

It doesn't feel like that's the case anymore.

Barring a massive regression from Trubisky over the next three games, it's starting to feel like he's winning back Chicago's confidence one game at a time. 

With all that in mind, here's the updated Bears QB Big Board entering Week 15:

Bears QB Big Board (Dec. 12, 2019)

1. Mitch Trubisky (Bears)
previous: 2 (Dec. 3)

2. Andy Dalton (Bengals)
previous: 1 (Dec. 3)

3. Ryan Tannehill (Titans)
previous: 3  (Dec. 3)

4. Jalen Hurts (Oklahoma)
previous: 4 (Dec. 3)

5. Marcus Mariota (Titans)
previous: 5 (Dec. 3)

6. Teddy Bridgewater (Saints)
previous: 6 (Dec. 3)

Outside looking in (list cut down to three)...

-Jake Fromm (Georgia)
previous: outside looking in (Dec. 3)

-Jameis Winston (Buccaneers)
previous: outside looking in (Dec. 3)

- Cam Newton (Panthers)
previous: outside looking in (Dec. 3)

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