The Chicago Bulls on Tuesday afternoon held a press conference on the status of Derrick Rose's weekend surgery to repair his torn anterior cruciate ligament.
"Strength-wise, he's less likely to injure that knee again," said team physician Brian Cole, who performed the surgery. "If you look at the reasons athletes do or do not get back to their pre-injury level of play, there's no question the psychological point is part of it. But because we know that, that's something we focus on."
Cole set Rose's return to action at anywhere from eight to 12 months and slightly longer before he's able to perform at a pre-injury level, but the key talking point in the press conference at the Rush University Medical Center Orthopedic building was the mental aspect that Rose must now go through after this procedure.
“If you look at a typical progression, he'll be doing basketball specific activities very early on and that's just great feedback so he can say, 'Hey, I can do this'. Then you start do sort of non-contact, basketball friendly activities against other people so he can start getting a sense of, 'hey, I can do this. I trust my knee' and he will learn to be able to trust his knee."
Cole said that Rose could be back running again in about four weeks and credited the "pre-hab" that was done early on to give him a leg up on his rehab, post-surgery.
"We've learned so much about preparing patients for ACL surgery and the goals initially were to get his motion back, minimize the swelling, have him walk with a normal gait, be able to activate his quadriceps, get some single-leg activities, really get him functioning as normally as possible and making sure his motion is perfect. And we met all of his objectives. People were asking why not do the surgery the next day? The appropriate thing is to wait until the knee tells you when it's ready.”
Fred Tedeschi, the Bulls head athletic trainer, also spoke to Derrick's own fortitude and work ethic as something that will aid his recovery, but all parties spoke and agreed that Derrick Rose won't see the court again until they're sure he's ready.
"Derrick is in an incredible athlete, an unbelievably hard worker and he wants this more than anything. But we're not going to rush it," said Cole.