Derrick Rose missed the New York Knicks’ Sunday afternoon quadruple-overtime 142-139 loss to the Atlanta Hawks due to a sprained left ankle and could miss even more time.
Rose, 28, injured the ankle during the Knicks’ home victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Friday, noting that his ankle “started throbbing right away” without swelling. The team decided to sit Rose on Sunday and head coach Jeff Hornacek told reporters it could be a while before Rose plays again.
“I don’t want to say because you never know with an ankle,” Hornacek said via ESPN).
The Knicks are scheduled to face the Washington Wizards and Brooklyn Nets on the road in back-to-back games on Tuesday and Wednesday. The team finishes next week with a Saturday home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, owners of the best record in the Eastern Conference. It’s possible Rose sits out all of those games while recovering from the injury.
It has been a productive season for Rose on the court but a lot of drama off of it. Sunday was Rose’s sixth missed game of the season; he missed four games due to a lower back injury, went AWOL a few weeks ago before a game against the Pelicans and Sunday was the sixth.
The former NBA MVP from the 2010-11 campaign said that the ankle feels fine but did not commit to a specific return date.
“It feels better every day,” Rose said. “You know with knee to ankle and hamstring injuries, I just have to take my time with it and listen to my body and I think that’s what I’m doing right now.”
Injuries are nothing new to Rose. While he did see action in 66 games with the Chicago Bulls last season, he missed significant time following his MVP campaign. From the 2011-12 season through the 2015-16 season, Rose missed 244 out of a possible 410 games. Sandwiched in between those seasons were two major knee injuries that zapped the Chicago native of much of his explosiveness.
But Rose has shown glimpses of his former self at times this year. In 43 games this season, Rose is averaging 17.9 points and 4.4 assists. At the end of the year, Rose is scheduled to hit free agency for the first time and reports indicate the Knicks do not view Rose as a long-term fixture. While there were rumblings of a possible extension, Rose’s disappearance and subsequent drama related to a “family emergency” reportedly changed the organization’s mind.
However, Rose says that he feels he can handle the rigors of an NBA season despite his injury history.
“I feel good,” he said on Sunday. “I just love how healthy I am this year. Playing in the amount of games I’m playing in I almost feel like a rookie, as far as trying to get all the games under me, getting my body conditioned to the NBA season.”
With trade rumors surrounding teammate Carmelo Anthony, Rose’s name could become a hot topic as the February 23 trade deadline approaches. With Sunday’s loss, the Knicks’ record fell to 21-28, 2.5 games behind the Hornets for the final spot in the Eastern Conference.
Trading Anthony would essentially mean going into complete rebuild mode and if Rose is not part of the team’s future, the Knicks could look to trade Rose. But the aforementioned incident of Rose going AWOL may impact his value in trade scenarios, as Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical wrote.
“In the aftermath of going AWOL at The Garden, Knicks officials need to further determine Rose’s passion to return to the team and continue playing. Rose has put into peril his short-term role…and the longer-term chances to land a lucrative contract extension with the Knicks in July, league sources told The Vertical.”
[Featured Image by Mike Stobe/Getty Images]