Former MVP Derrick Rose will have surgery for a medial meniscus tear in his right knee, the Bulls announced Saturday. The three-time All-Star point guard will be listed as out indefinitely until after the procedure.
Rose departed with 3:20 remaining in the third period after pulling up during a backdoor cut. He finished with 20 points (on 6-for-19 shooting), five rebounds and three assists in 28 minutes.
“He has pain and felt like he couldn’t push off the right knee,” Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said Friday. "I don't want to speculate on what it is or what it might be other than my concern for him. I know how much work he's put into his rehab, that's the type of person he is, that's the type of player he is. So concern for that, I feel for him because of all the things that he means to our team."
A specific recovery timeline for Rose is not yet known, but a meniscus tear isn't necessarily a season-ending injury. It's a significantly less serious injury than the ACL tear Rose suffered in his other knee during the 2012 playoffs that led him to sit out the entire 2012-13 season.
Rose's timeline will likely be determined by the type of surgery doctors pursue. Thunder All-Star guard Russell Westbrook suffered a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee during the 2013 playoffs and he elected to have the tear repaired, ending his season. He returned in November after a second arthroscopic surgery on the knee during training camp.
A meniscus removal, rather than a repair, carries a shorter timeline.
Clippers All-Star forward Blake Griffin suffered a medial meniscus tear in July 2012 that kept him out of the London Olympics, but he was ready for training camp in October 2012 and he reported feeling "100 percent" less than two months after the surgery. In April, then-Lakers forward Metta World Peace returned just 12 days after meniscus surgery. And, in a decision that has been second-guessed repeatedly, former Blazers All-Star guard Brandon Roy played in a 2010 postseason game just eight days after meniscus surgery.
The Bulls will surely pursue a cautious and patient approach with Rose, who is in the second year of a five-year, $94 million contract that runs through the 2016-17 season.
Chicago is also without starting shooting guard Jimmy Butler, who is sidelined with turf toe, putting Thibodeau into short-term crisis mode with his lineups. Mike Dunleavy has started in place of Butler and Kirk Hinrich will surely start in place of Rose. Reserve point guard Marquis Teague's role will increase and rookie wing Tony Snell will also likely find his way into the rotation.
Rose, 25, is averaging 15.9 points, 4.3 assists and 3.2 rebounds while shooting 35.4 percent this season.
The Bulls are in the midst of a six-game road trip. They will play the Clippers on Sunday in Los Angeles.