Ken Berger: ‘Bulls Need To Make Plans’

In what is quickly becoming the saddest saga in the NBA, Derrick Rose has suffered another significant knee injury. The Chicago Bulls point guard and former MVP has a torn meniscus in his right knee and will undergo surgery.

There is no timetable for his return.

There is also reportedly no knowledge of when the injury occurred.

“I don’t think they knew at the trade deadline, because I think . . . they would have made an effort to go out and get some help,” CBS Sports NBA insider Ken Berger said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “But I asked the same question this morning, and the answer I got was, ‘We don’t know when it happened.’ So unlike the two previous knee injuries that he had – the ACL in the left knee and the torn meniscus last year in the right, where it was a clear moment where you saw it happen – there wasn’t anything like that this time.

“And I’m not a knee surgeon,” Berger continued. “I don’t know if that has to do with the fact that it was already repaired once and maybe it just gradually came apart again. I don’t know the answer. But clearly, the Bulls are in trouble now in the short term and the long term in terms of when will they be able to rely on Derrick Rose – the MVP and All-Star that he was – again?”

Honestly, the answer may be never. Rose, 26, was averaging 18.4 points and 5.0 assists in 46 games this season and had the Bulls (36-21) on the cusp of the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Now, however, they may need to find a permanent replacement for the oft-injured superstar.

“I think you do have to start thinking that way,” Berger said. “One of the things I’m writing about now in a column on this whole topic that will be up on CBSSports.com shortly (is) there’s a lot we don’t know. The knee-jerk reaction – whether you’re a fan or you’re on the radio or you’re in my position as an analyst – you want answers that we just don’t have yet. So there’s a dispassionate view that you take.

“If you’re the surgeon that’s going to be peering through the scope, you’re not going to be thinking abut Derrick Rose’s future or what the Bulls are going to do. You’re going to be saying, ‘How much of the meniscus is damaged? Can we repair it again? Or do we have to remove it and take it from there?’ That’s the unemotional view.

“Of course fans and people in our business, you have to think the other way. And if you’re running the Bulls and you’re the GM, Gar Forman, and (the vice president), John Paxson, and the coach in Tom Thibodeau, you have to start thinking, ‘We need to make plans. Because this guy’s owed $41 million over the next two years and he’s played . . . 56 games in the last three (seasons).’ So it’s a problem.”

Indeed, since winning MVP in 2011, Rose has missed two-thirds of the Bulls’ games.

Berger, for what it’s worth, feels Rose’s knees might not be the real issue – or at least not the only issue. In fact, he suspects Rose might have problems with his hips or ankles, or both, which could be causing problems elsewhere in his body.

“You have to surgically fix the problem as best they can at this point, and you have to rehab that area,” Berger said. “But they got to take a look at why this keeps happening – because there’s got to be a reason. It’s not an accident three times.”

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