The surgery will be performed by Dr. Brian Cole, the same man who performed the ACL surgery on Rose in May of 2012.
“[He’s] headed back to Chicago today. He’ll have surgery [Monday]. Then we’ll have a better idea about what the time table will be,” Thibodeau said.
Thibodeau did not want to speculate how long Rose may be out.
There are two options as to the direction Rose and his doctors will decide to fix the knee. They could either remove the meniscus, or a portion of it, and Rose could be back on the floor in a matter of weeks. What seems more likely, according to a source will knowledge of the situation, is that Rose and the Bulls will decide to have the meniscus re-attached, which would put him out for upwards of four to six months.
While the first procedure would put him back on the court sooner, many players who have had that procedure, including Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade, say that it causes more problems later in a player’s career. According to the source, given Rose’s age (25) and the fact the Bulls have millions of dollars still wrapped up in his future, the likely scenario is that Rose and the organization will choose to take the longer approach with the hope that he can return to being the same player before his first knee injury.
“The big part is they won’t know [which surgery to perform] until they get in,” Thibodeau said. “So we’re hoping for the best. We of course feel very badly for Derrick. I talked to him at length last night. He’s in good spirits. About as well as can be expected under the circumstances. And he’s already thinking about his rehab and typical Derrick — concerned about his team, his teammates. But that being said, we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We’re the Chicago Bulls. We have one goal, that’s to win. And I believe we have the personnel in that locker room to get it done.”
Thibodeau said he expects Rose to make a full recovery but acknowledged there is disappointment throughout the locker room.
“There’s disappointment for Derrick because of the type of person he is,” Thibodeau said. “And he’s such a great teammate along with being a great player. But I think we have an understanding of what we need to do. We know we can’t feel sorry for ourselves. So we have to circle the wagons and then go out there and get the job done.
“You just take things as they come. This is all part of the NBA. Injuries are part of it. That’s why it’s a team. I have a lot of confidence in the guys that are on our bench. They’ve done a good job of preparing themselves. They have to understand what their job is, get in there, and get the job done.”
Thibodeau believes Rose will be able to bounce back from his latest setback despite the fact that he will likely be missing major time for the third year in a row.
“I think his mental toughness is going to serve him well,” Thibodeau said. “Whenever he’s faced any adversity I think his mental toughness has gotten him through. I could tell from [talking to him on Saturday] that there was a resolve of determination. We expect him to make a full recovery. It’s another bump in the road and he’ll get past it.”
Bulls players are bracing for the fact that Rose may be out for a long time.
“It’s tough, man,” Bulls forward Carlos Boozer said. “I feel bad for him. Our hearts go out to him, our prayers are with him, obviously our thoughts. We talked to him [Saturday] a little bit. Hopefully he has a good recovery, a speedy recovery, and we’ll do the best we can to hold him down like we have in the past.”
The Bulls looked like an emotionally beaten bunch during Sunday’s 39-point loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. They were still having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that Rose had suffered another knee injury.
“We just have to get back to playing,” Bulls forward Taj Gibson said. “We have to let Derrick focus on getting himself healthy. We got to focus on getting ourselves better and continue to achieve a greater cause. We’ve been in this situation before. It’s going to take all of us as a whole.”
ESPN.com’s Kevin Arnovitz contributed to this report.
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