Derrick Rose’s knee surgery was deemed successful Friday, and the Chicago Bulls point guard will reportedly be cleared to play in four to six weeks.
Scott Ferrall, however, is a little skeptical. Given Rose’s injury history and his cautious approach to recovery, can we really expect the Bulls to just plop Rose back into the lineup right before the playoffs?
To find out, CBS Sports Radio enlisted the services of Dr. Jason Fond, Director of Orthopedics at Nyack Hospital in New York.
“So, the first time he had his surgery, which was about a year-and-a-half ago, he tore the meniscus in his right knee,” Fond began on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “To go back a (second), the meniscus is kind of like a shock absorber. So you need it and you need to protect it from getting arthritis and degenerative changes. So you try to repair it if you can, which is what they did about a year-and-a-half ago. And apparently it worked to the point where he was able to get back on the court. It does take quite a long time. It takes at least eight or nine months to recover from that to get back on the court.
“But what he had this time,” Fond continued, “they described it as a flap – almost like having a hangnail – and when you have something like that, it’s slightly different. Instead of repairing it, you just basically trim it off and you remove the torn piece. So the advantage of that is that you can get back out there faster because you don’t need to wait for anything to heal. It’s like taking a splinter out. It’s gone. That’s it. But like we talked about today, the problem is that now you have less of that shock absorber in your knee.”
Exactly, so just how much of the meniscus can be removed until there’s essentially nothing left?
“Well, that’s the problem,” Fond said. “It depends how much they took off. If you take 10 percent of it away, a four-to-six week recovery is reasonable. But again, he had something done a year-and-half ago, so now you’re adding another surgery on top of that. So you’re right. You take a younger patient or younger player who hasn’t had any surgery before, and they have this done, four-to-six weeks is very reasonable. For him, with everything he’s been through with both knees – it is possible he could get back in four-to-six weeks. But it really depends on how much they took out and what the condition of his knee is right now. He already could be getting arthritis in that knee given the multiple surgeries he’s had.”
At some point, you have to wonder if Rose will have to adjust his style of play. He plays at 100 miles per hour at all times, but it’s fair to question whether his knees can still accommodate that.
“You will start to lose some of that explosion that you have,” Fond said. “His knee’s not the same now as it was a year-and-a-half ago. So the guys like me and you, yes, we definitely lose that explosion pretty quick. But these are different people, too. You look at Adrian Peterson. He had his ACL done, and he was back better than ever, which is amazing. But it takes its toll. If you have two surgeries on one knee playing at that high level – especially the type of ball he plays – it is going to wear him down.”