The return of Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose from the left ACL injury that kept him out of the entire 2012-13 season has been one of the biggest NBA stories of this fall. While Rose has not looked at peak form for most of the first month of this campaign, he has appeared to be in good health with enough highlights to warrant optimism. At the very least, it's been nice to see one of the sport's most talented players back on the court.
On Friday night against the Portland Trail Blazers, however, the Bulls were faced with a sad sight at Moda Center. With 3:20 remaining in the third quarter and the score tied at 68, Rose was forced to leave the game with a non-contact injury to his right knee after turning to chase Nicholas Batum following a steal. He received immediate treatment on the bench and was eventually helped to the locker room, unable to walk under his own power. Check out the video of the play below (via @shawnintheflesh):
Little information is available at the time of this writing, but the Bulls announced in the fourth quarter that Rose had suffered a right knee injury and would not return:
Shortly after the end of the game, Tom Thibodeau spoke to reporters about the play and Rose's condition:
Portland media personality Isaac Ropp captured a photo of Rose being helped to the locker room, as well:
It's important to note that we should not jump to conclusions about Rose's condition, even if many could be forgiven for fearing the worst at this time. Additionally, this is the right knee, not the left knee that kept Rose out of the 2012 playoffs 2012-13 season, so it is not a case of re-injury or re-aggravation.
Nevertheless, no one wanted to see Rose go down with a knee injury after working so hard to rejoin the Bulls over the past 18 months. Although Rose became a controversial figure last spring after deciding not to play following medical clearance, he took his rehab process incredibly seriously and has seemed poise to return to his All-NBA level of play.
The final result of this game will only add to the negativity surrounding the moment for the Bulls. Trailing 59-44 at halftime, the Blazers fought back to win 98-95 and run their record to 11-2.
We will update this story as more details become available.
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