9:25 AM CDT, April 4, 2013
Taj Gibson got hurt again, and you watch, it will delay Derrick Rose’s return.
Heck, it might convince Rose and his inner circle free of medical education not to return until next season.
It might not make sense to doctors, but it’s easy to see how Gibson’s re-injury and subsequent comments could influence Rose’s rehab. In fact, it looks like a bunny if you’ve followed this soap opera, and who hasn’t?
Rose’s rehab has been the only interesting thing about the Bulls, and now it’s not even that. Now it’s just aggravating, and the Bulls are the most useless show in Chicago next to Tom Ricketts’ negotiating and Dayan Viciedo’s defense.
To recap, Gibson sprained the MCL in his left knee on Feb. 24 and missed 10 games. He came back on March 21 and re-injured the ligament Tuesday, seven games later.
“That’s what happens when you rush back to try to help your team win,’’ Gibson said after the loss in Washington.
Gibson seems to be wearing this. He is not blaming his coach, his general manager, the team doctor, his sneaker company or pizza endorsement. He is blaming himself for coming back too soon.
When you hear a Bulls player talk about re-injuring or tweaking a ligament because he rushed back, then you can see how this resounds to Rose’s return because everything resounds to Rose’s return.
Injury returns get murky at this point. Team doctors get questioned. Same goes for the coach’s mentality to win every possession, even in the layup line.
But Gibson’s statement would seem to give those with influence over Rose more influence in convincing him to miss this season.
Look, we’ve already heard Rose’s brother, Reggie, loudly rip the Bulls for failing to improve the roster. We’ve also read the brother’s rundown of his own knee injury and ultimate dead end, and the undeniable conclusion is that Reggie isn’t going to let his little brother risk the same career-killing mistake.
Rose said he’ll return when he’s 110 percent. Rose also has said several times that only God knows when he’ll return. You can explain to Rose that he’ll never be even 100 percent and that doctors are a note from God, but he’s not listening.
Nope, it seems Rose is looking around at all the players who come back from ACL surgery and then stink and remain hobbled, and he’s now hearing his warrior teammate say he came back too soon.
At best, this delays Rose’s return for a concrete reason. Scrimmaging seems to be the only way Rose will convince himself he’s strong enough to survive NBA game activity, even if the whole concept is folly because you can’t experience NBA game demands unless you’re in an NBA game. But the injured Bulls don’t have enough healthy players, so they have replaced scrimmaging with triage.
The backdrop, of course, is that the Bulls have no shot at the NBA title this year. Geez, they might not even have a shot at a complete roster for the first round. That has to affect Rose’s decision, as well, no matter what anybody says.
Rose already was surrounded by a cautious groupthink. Now there are endless MRIs that will prompt even more caution. See ya next season.
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