Mitch Lawrence of the New York Daily News has reported that the Chicago Bulls expect All-Star point guard Derrick Rose to be back in time for the playoffs. For most “normal” people, a torn meniscus, the injury sustained by Rose, has a recovery time of about six weeks. Since most people aren’t elite athletes, they just have some of the torn part of the meniscus removed, which cuts down greatly on recovery time.
However, for elite athletes, the procedure is tweaked. Instead of removing the torn part of the meniscus, the torn portion is reattached, making the recovery process several months long. It seemed lofty following the injury when Rose said he might be able to return to the playoffs, but with the way the Bulls are playing and the electric element Rose adds to the team, it now doesn’t seem completely out of the question.
At 39-31, the Bulls are just half a game behind the Toronto Raptors for the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. That would mean they would take on either the Miami Heat or Indiana Pacers in the second round. Without Rose, a series win against either of those teams is unlikely. It’s a testament to the Bulls’ toughness and grit that they could even compete in those series, but Rose could enable them to win them.
Where the Bulls have been winning with heart, hustle and muscle, Rose’s scoring would add a whole new element in Chicago. If in fact he does return from injury earlier than anticipated, the Bulls will be very real threats in the Eastern Conference.
It’s been exciting to watch the inspiring Bulls play this season, but there’s a feeling they can’t compete with the Heat or Pacers in a potential second-round matchup. With the return of Rose, the Bulls could be playing well into the summer.