Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau wants fans to know that the season-ending ACL tear suffered by Derrick Rose isn’t a “death sentence” for the team as they head into the playoffs.
After Sunday’s practice Thibodeau said of the situation:
“I think we all feel awful for him. Derrick’s not only a great player, he’s a great teammate, he’s a great person, but it’s not a death sentence. It’s not a death sentence for him, it’s not a death sentence for our team. He’s going to come back. He’ll come back better than ever. It’s just the way it is and we’ve got to deal with.”
Rose went down with 1:22 left in his teams win over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. After the game an MRI revealed that Rose tore his ACL.
Derrick will undergo corrective surgery and then recuperate over a six to nine month period however the team will not give a definitive timeline for the star players return. According to Tom Thibodeau:
“I think they’re still going through it all right now so nothing’s been finalized. He still has to talk to the doctors, (athletic trainer) Fred (Tedeschi) and then lay out the plan. Normally there’s a waiting out period and then they’ll do the surgery down the road.”
Following the lead of management and the coaching staff was Bulls center Joakim Noah who told ESPN:
“We’re not going to let anybody paint the picture for us. Obviously, it’s tough losing Derrick. I feel for him, but we can’t feel sorry for ourselves.”
Noah also noted that he would need to step up if the team had a chance of winning another NBA title:
“The whole team has to step up. Our margin for error is a lot smaller with Derrick out. Can you replace a guy like Derrick? No. But it’s on us to step up as much as possible.”
Whether Derrick Rose makes a full recovery or flounders with more injury plagued seasons is yet to be seen, one thing is for certain, the Chicago Bulls have their work cut out for them as they continue their playoff run.