(CBS) Bulls point guard Derrick Rose is expected to miss four to six weeks after undergoing “successful” surgery on a right medial meniscus tear Friday morning, general manager Gar Forman said.
After the meniscectomy by team physician Dr. Brian Cole, Rose walked out of the hospital with full weight bearing, Forman said. The damaged portion of the meniscus was removed in his right knee.
The belief is Rose will be able to return in time for the playoffs, if not a couple weeks before. The playoffs start April 18. Six weeks from today would be April 10.
Forman called the procedure “minor” and “quick.”
“Yeah, I think Derrick’s ready to attack it,” Forman said, responding to a question of whether Rose and his camp are on the same page with the four-to-six-week recovery timeline.
This was the third knee surgery of Rose’s NBA career. He tore his left ACL in April 2012 and suffered a tear in his right medial meniscus tear in November 2013. Rose drew criticism in spring 2013 when doctors cleared him to return late in the season, but he chose to sit out because he didn’t feel ready.
“In comparison to what Derrick’s had to go through the last several years, this surgery really was minor,” Forman said. “He’s anticipated to have a full recovery.”
The Bulls haven’t seriously discussed yet whether Rose will be on a minutes restriction when he returns, Forman said. Rose was limited to around 32 minutes most of the first half of this season after he battled back from the last, more serious meniscus tear.
The Bulls don’t know when Rose tore his meniscus this time, Forman said, adding there are likely players in the league playing with meniscus tears right now who don’t know it.
Rose’s rehab will begin immediately, as he’ll likely be at the Advocate Center on Saturday, Forman said.
Having a more minor, second surgery after initially tearing a meniscus — as Rose did in November 2013 — isn’t uncommon, with Forman saying statistics show it happens to around 25 percent of people. However, Forman doesn’t anticipate further complications like they braced for previously.
“This (surgery) should eliminate that problem,” Forman said.
Rose is averaging 18.4 points on 5.0 assists, shooting just shy of 41 percent in what’s been an up-and-down season. He’s played in 46 of Chicago’s 58 games this season, but he’s played in just 95 of the Bulls’ past 288 regular-season games because of his many injuries.
“Derrick’s done incredibly well under the circumstances the last several years and then into this year, the way he strung games together,” Forman said. “You could see him making progress throughout the season. It’s not easy, and I think all of us know that. Derrick’s a basketball player. He wants to play basketball.
“We’ve got great confidence in Derrick.”
Asked if he’d be disappointed if Rose doesn’t return prior to the end of the season after the team set a timeline, Forman spoke rather generally.
“That’s what we anticipate, and that’s what Brian’s thoughts are,” Forman said. “Again, it’s going to depend on how the rehab process goes. If everything goes according to plan and how we think it’s going to go, then we’re confident he’ll be back. To that point, I guess there would be some disappointment (if he didn’t return).”
The Bulls (36-22) host the Timberwolves (13-43) tonight at the United Center. They’ll be without big man Pau Gasol, who left the morning shootaround with an illness.
Chicago currently sits in fourth place in the Eastern Conference.