According to multiple reports, Derrick Rose has torn the meniscus in his non-surgically repaired knee. He will require surgery and is currently listed as being out indefinitely.
Out indefinitely, of course, can mean a lot of different things. Marc Gasol was listed with that designation last year after an abdominal tear, and he came back after just two games.
So how much time will Rose actually miss? Obviously, the Bulls would be wise to play it plenty safe after surviving this scare, and truth be told, there shouldn’t be a crunch to rush Rose back to action. The Bulls are good enough to be a playoff team fairly easily, with or without their star point guard.
The severity of the meniscus tear matters a great deal when considering recovery times, and it isn’t uncommon for surgeons to make the decision on how much of the meniscus to repair or remove until once they are actually in the knee and can see the damage.
Point being, we’ll know more once Rose’s surgery is actually performed.
Here’s some good news, though:
Medical experts have typically considered medial meniscus tears (the one Rose has) less serious than lateral tears.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) November 23, 2013
What we can do in the meantime, though, is look at the recovery time for other athletes who have suffered meniscus injuries. Again, I can’t stress enough that every player is different, and every recovery process varies. Metta World Peace recovered from meniscus surgery in just 12 days. Other players have taken two months. These are just to provide context.
In the past, most teams have listed players out with a meniscus injury as being sidelined for “at least six weeks.” That was the time frame for Jeremy Lin back in 2012 and World Peace in 2013.
In 2011, Leon Powe suffered a torn meniscus and was slated to miss six weeks. He returned to play in seven weeks.
Tyrus Thomas suffered the same injury that year and was listed as being out for up to eight weeks. He returned early and was back on the floor in seven weeks.
It should be noted that Rose is a guard who replies on explosiveness and change of direction much more than a big man or post player would, which could lengthen a full recovery.
While the Bulls will almost certainly stick with the “out indefinitely” designation, particularly given Rose’s unique situation of recovering from an ACL tear, Rose’s recovery can probably be estimated at somewhere between 6-10 weeks. That’s based solely on what we’ve seen from other players who have suffered a similar injury, and again, we’ll know more once the actual surgery takes place.