Chicago Bulls

Bulls' Rose faces long recovery

CHICAGO – Up until now, the three letters most associated with Derrick Rose were MVP.

Now, a nasty trio of letters – ACL – will follow Rose until the next time he plays.

Rose tore his left ACL late in the fourth quarter of the Bulls’ 103-91 win Saturday against the Philadelphia 76ers and will miss the rest of the playoffs. He also will miss the summer Olympics in London, where he was expected to be a major contributor for Team USA.

Bulls general manager Gar Forman said the team would do everything it could to help Rose.

“We’re very optimistic that he’ll come back at 100 percent, if not 110 percent,” Forman said.

When that happens is anyone’s guess.

Although cases vary, the typical recovery time from a torn ACL is 6 to 9 months. That timeline does not start until after surgery to repair the torn ligament.

Forman said Rose likely would require a couple of weeks before he was able to have surgery. Before doctors can operate, the swelling in Rose’s left knee will have to subside and Rose will have to regain a full range of motion in his knee.

If Rose has surgery in mid-May, that would mean he could return anywhere from mid-November to mid-February. Any setbacks could push back that timeline, which almost certainly will include missed games because the regular season starts in October.

Once Rose returns, the next question will be whether he maintains his explosiveness.

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said he was confident Rose could regain his MVP form.

“I expect him to pick up right where he left off,” Thibodeau said.

Feeling his pain: If Rose needs advice on his recovery, he could call Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul.

In February 2010, Paul underwent surgery for a torn meniscus in his right knee. He returned for a full slate of games the next season but registered a career low in points a game (15.9) and his worst marks in assists and field goal percentage in a four-year span.

In his second full season after surgery, Paul’s production improved with the Los Angeles Clippers as he averaged 19.8 points, 9.1 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 2.5 steals in 60 games.

In his corner: Forman said he had no problem with the fact that Rose was in the game Saturday with the Bulls leading by double digits and less than 80 seconds remaining.

Thibodeau faced questions after Game 1 for why Rose was on the court so late in the game given his recent history of injuries and his importance to the team’s championship hopes.

“There is absolutely no issue there,” Forman said. “It’s a playoff game. They had cut the lead down to 12, and we’re going to have our guys on the floor making sure that we win the basketball game. It’s absolutely no issue at all from our standpoint.”

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