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.